A Westminster woman is the second to be indicted in relation to an incident of alleged child abuse that caused brain bleeding in a 6-month-old child. She was arrested Friday, Oct. 12.
Krista Johnson, 24, of the unit block of Shamrock Circle, was indicted by a grand jury Thursday, Oct. 11, and arrested the next day. She is charged with one count of first-degree child abuse and other related charges.
Johnson is being held without bail at the Carroll County Detention Center following a bail review hearing Tuesday, according to electronic court records.
The victim of the alleged abuse was Johnson’s 6-month-old son, according to a news release from the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Jared Michael McAbee, 23, of Hanover, Pennsylvania, was arrested Aug. 15 and subsequently indicted on charges of first-degree child abuse and related charges. He has been incarcerated at the Carroll County Detention Center without bail since his arrest.
On Aug. 15, the child was transported to Carroll Hospital by EMS after a man later identified as McAbee reported that the child was “limp” and “unresponsive,” according to the statement of charges for McAbee’s initial arrest. A CAT scan was performed and revealed several areas of bleeding in the brain, according to the statement. A helicopter took the child to Johns Hopkins Hospital.
The Carroll County Advocacy and Investigation Center first began investigating the alleged abuse on Aug. 9, when an investigator responded to Carroll Hospital after injuries to the child caused emergency department staff concern over possible abuse, according to the statement of probable cause from McAbee’s initial arrest.
McAbee and Johnson told the investigator that they had noticed the child’s injury that morning. The child was left with McAbee while Johnson went to work, but she then chose to leave early and take the child to a pediatrician out of concern, according to the statement. The pediatrician referred them to the emergency department at Carroll Hospital.
Follow-up medical examinations were conducted on Aug. 11 and 13, according to the statement. A CAT scan was found to be negative for brain injury, but additional bruising was noted, according to the statement.
On Tuesday, Aug. 14, Child Protective Services investigators asked both McAbee and Johnson to sign a “safety plan” stating that neither would be left unsupervised with the child, according to the statement.
Investigators determined that the child had been left alone with McAbee contrary to the safety plan, after the child was taken to the hospital again Aug. 15, according to the statement.
Investigators recorded that, while being interviewed, McAbee confessed to likely causing the bruising and brain injury. Previously, he had intentionally yanked on the straps to the child’s car seat while buckling it and had pushed the child’s face into his chest when the child would not stop crying, he said, according to the statement.
The morning of Aug. 15, McAbee said the child would not stop crying after being bottle fed. He sat the child on his leg and began burping the child, he said, but as the child continued to cry, he became frustrated and began to hit the child repeatedly on the back with his hand, according to the statement.
Investigators asked McAbee to recreate the motion on a doll of similar size to the child, and the doll’s head was thrown violently backward and forward as its back was struck, according to the statement.
“State’s Attorney Brian DeLeonardo is constrained from commenting on the specific facts of the pending prosecutions until the matters are concluded before the court,” according to the release regarding Johnson’s indictment.
A court date for McAbee is scheduled for Nov. 27. No court scheduling information for Johnson was immediately available through electronic court records.
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The Carroll County Advocacy and Investigation Center is continuing to investigate.