We've all seen the public-service announcements that tell television viewers, "Never shake a baby." But while the delivery of this line may seem overwrought, the message is inarguable: Parents frustrated with a child may actually kill him or her by reacting in a way that may seem totally natural but can turn out to be fatal.
The child-abuse-resulting-in-death charge facing Taylor Bush is a case in point. It's unclear if shaking alone killed her three-month-old baby, but as the police report on view below demonstrates, it certainly didn't help.
At approximately 1:40 a.m. on March 6, according to the probable cause statement, Bush, age 22, called 911 and told the dispatcher that her son Jormel, who was born this past November 14, had stopped breathing.
Emergency personnel raced to the scene, at the 4600 block of Freeport Way, and transported Jormel to Children's Hospital, where a CAT scan revealed he had a skull fracture and bleeding in the brain due to what doctors referred to as "non-accidental trauma."
Efforts to keep Jormel alive were unsuccessful. He died at 5:22 p.m. on March 7, and the following day, an autopsy revealed even more injuries to the infant -- specifically a healing rib fracture and skull fracture.
At around that time, Bush was interviewed at Denver police headquarters. She told investigators that she had taken Jormel to Children's on March 5 for a mouth infection referred to in the PC statement as "thresh." Presumably, this is a reference to thrush, which, as noted on the BabyCenter website, tends to make it painful for even hungry babies to feed. The result can be a child who's inconsolable until the condition subsides.
What happened that night? Bush told officers that she was watching television and listening to music when she looked over at Jormel and noticed that he was no longer breathing. His lips had already turned blue. So she picked him up and shook him.
Bush insisted that she had taken this action in an attempt to revive Jormel, not kill him. But unsurprisingly, it didn't work, and neither, she said, did her attempts to perform CPR on him. Hence, the 911 call.
The investigator asked Bush if she could have shaken Jormel hard enough to cause the injuries that soon took his life. "Ms. Bush believed that she did," the report states. Soon thereafter, she mostly stopped talking.
Presumably, Bush had to say at least a few words today. She was scheduled to be formally advised of the charge against her -- one count of child abuse resulting in death -- during a court hearing earlier this morning. Her bond has been set at $100,000.
More reasons why one should never shake a baby. Look below to see a larger version of Bush's booking photo, followed by the aforementioned probable cause statement and an interactive graphic showing the area near where police feel the crime took place. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
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