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Addison man accused of shaking 22-month-old child

Short (click for larger version)
September 29, 2010 - A 25-year-old Addison man accused of violently shaking his 22-month-old stepdaughter to the point where she suffered a traumatic brain injury is in custody after police say he confessed to the crime.

David James Short was arraigned Thursday, Sept. 23 in Rochester Hills 52-3 District Court on charges of first-degree child abuse (a 15-year felony) and second-degree child abuse (a four-year felony).

He's currently being held in the Oakland County Jail in lieu of posting a $75,000 cash or surety bond.

The incident allegedly occurred Sept. 13 in the 100 block of Thornapple Circle, which is a street located in the Hidden Lakes Estates mobile home community (505 Rochester Rd.).

Emergency personnel were originally called to the mobile home on a report of a child having "difficulty breathing," according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Department.

The child was transported to Crittenton Hospital in Rochester, then transferred to Children's Hospital in Detroit.

Doctors determined the girl had retinal bleeding and a subdural hematoma (bleeding in the brain), two symptoms consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Shaken Baby Syndrome is a form of child abuse that occurs when an infant or small child is violently shaken, creating a whiplash-type motion that causes acceleration-deceleration injuries.

Sheriff's officials said that for an entire week following the incident, Short maintained he was outside when the child was injured and he wasn't sure what happened. He told police maybe the dog did something to her. The child's mother was not home at the time of the incident.

On Sept. 21, Short confessed that he shook the child because she wouldn't stop crying, according to the sheriff's department.

Sheriff's officials reported the girl is currently awake, alert and in stable condition at Children's Hospital.

She had been in a medically-induced coma.

It's unknown at this time whether or not she's suffered any permanent brain damage.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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