Muskogee Mother Of Hospitalized 1-Month-Old Arrested, Charged
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma - The Muskogee mother of a 1-month-old boy in critical condition was arrested and charged with enabling child abuse.
Muskogee police arrested the baby's father, Robert Jones Jr., earlier this week and the district attorney charged him with six counts of child abuse.
Police arrested Emma Whitehead Thursday on one count of enabling child abuse by injury.
Prosecutors allege Whitehead witnessed the boy's father push his face into a couch cushion and did nothing to stop it, except telling him not to do that because that is how babies suffocate.
Court records show, in addition to a cracked skull and brain bleed, the baby had a bruise on his left eye, one on his left ear and fingerprint bruises on either side of his neck.
Prosecutors said Whitehead did not take the baby to the hospital for at least two days after noticing the injuries.
The abuse is alleged to have occurred between Aug. 16 and 19, court documents show.
A police affidavit says the baby's father admitted to hurting the baby, partly because he wouldn't stop crying.
Whitehead said her son was healthy until Sunday, when he started having seizures, so she and his father took the boy to the emergency room.
She said when the doctors told her baby's injuries she was beyond shocked.
"I never thought anything like this would ever happen," Whitehead said.
She said she was working and she couldn't get her usual babysitter, so the boy's father, Robert Jones Jr., was watching him.
Police said Jones confessed to hurting the boy.
They said he told them he picked the baby up by his throat and shook him and covered him with couch cushions and towels to get him to stop crying and to muffle the sound.
They said he slammed the baby against the changing table, threw him into the air, hit him on the ceiling fan, and dropped the baby off his shoulders to the bathroom floor, causing the baby's head to slam into the toilet.
Whitehead said Jones had been violent before but she didn't think he would hurt their son.
She said the boy is showing hopeful signs of improvement.
"He's breathing on his own, moving his legs, opening his eyes, looking around," she said.
Whitehead said it's too soon to know what her baby's future holds; she said her whole focus right now is on her son and getting him the help and healing he needs.