Authorities say a 10-month-old daughter with various injuries, including seven skull fractures, died after three days on life support, prompting the arrest of a couple in Hocking County on criminal charges.
Jerry Johnson IV, 33, of Columbus, and Daisha Somers, 24, both of Logan, are charged with endangering children, a third-degree felony. Both are being kept in custody on $500,000 apiece in bail.
According to a press release from the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office, Johnson and the baby girl’s mother, Somers, visited the emergency room at Hocking Valley Community Hospital on November 20.
The girl had “severe trauma and injuries,” including seven skull fractures, stomach bleeding, blood in the urine, retinal hemorrhages, several strokes, and protracted cardiac arrest. Deputies were called to the hospital because of the girl’s condition.
According to the sheriff’s office, the girl was placed on life support and flown by helicopter to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus because she was not breathing on her own.
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According to reports, Somers and Johnson told deputies they took the girl to the hospital after hearing a loud “thud” in the early morning hours. They informed the deputies that the child had hit her head after falling out of her toddler bed.
The girl was taken to the hospital several hours after the pair allegedly failed to call 911, according to the sheriff’s office. According to the sheriff’s office, detectives also found that the child’s injuries were not compatible with a fall.
In later interviews, Johnson is accused of altering his statement, claiming that he discovered the girl unconscious and not breathing while Somers was doing laundry somewhere else. According to the sheriff’s office, Johnson and Somers both acknowledged using methamphetamine and drinking alcohol.
According to the sheriff’s office, the girl was taken off life support and declared dead on Nov. 23 because she was not displaying any symptoms of brain activity.
At the conclusion of the sheriff’s office inquiry, more charges will be brought before a grand jury.