Pa. woman accused of using 4-week-old baby to hit boyfriend to stand trial

Monday, December 4th 2006, 4:50 pm
By: News On 6

ERIE, Pa. (AP) A woman accused of using her 4-week-old son as a weapon during a fight with her boyfriend, fracturing his skull, was ordered Monday to stand trial.

Betty Schau, a paramedic who treated the baby at the scene, testified at Chytoria Graham's preliminary hearing that Graham was crying and disheveled when medical crews arrived and that she said she picked up her son and ``swung him like a bat'' at her boyfriend.

Graham, 27, was ordered to stand trial on charges of aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children, simple assault and reckless endangerment. A trial date has not been set.

Defense lawyer Dennis Williams argued that Graham never used her son Jarron as a weapon, as Erie County prosecutors allege, and that she said she did to protect her boyfriend, Deangelo Troop.

Graham was returning from a night of drinking at about 3:30 a.m. on October 8th when she and Troop, 20, began arguing, police said.

The argument progressed to shoving and, as Jarron lay in bed wrapped in a blanket, Graham grabbed the infant by the feet and swung him at Troop, police said. Troop punched her in the eye after she put the child down, police said.

Troop was not charged with assaulting Graham because she did not want to press charges that night, Erie police Lt. John Ayers testified.

The baby made a full recovery and is now in the custody of Graham's parents, along with her four other children. The grandparents attended the hearing but declined to comment.

District Judge Suzanne Mack set bail at 10 percent of $75,000, but Williams said the family was unlikely to raise that amount.