David Ledford
David Ledford
A Ware Shoals teenage father was arrested during the weekend and faces a charge in reference to abusing his infant daughter last month.
David Ledford, 16, of 11 Hampton Ave., Ware Shoals, was charged with abuse/inflicting great bodily injury upon a child in connection with the incident.
The suspect was arrested Friday morning, and officials indicated he was charged as an adult in the case. Greenwood County court records show a judge set a $100,000 personal recognizance bond, which the suspect posted Friday and was released.
Officers responded to a residence along Folly Bend Drive on Dec. 16 to help revive the victim — a 3-month-old girl — who was unresponsive. According to Greenwood County incident report, the infant was not breathing when officers arrived to the home. EMS arrived to treat the child and took her to Self Regional Medical Center where doctors were able to stabilize her breathing.
The suspect, the victim's father, initially told officers he fed the baby and laid her down next to him for a while. He then went into another room to fix himself a bowl of cereal, when he heard the sound of the child choking. When he checked on her, he said she was curled up in a fetal position struggling to breathe and her body eventually went limp. That's when he called 911 to report the incident. Officers initially found no bruising or anything unusual the day of the incident.
Self Regional doctors contacted deputies later that day and told officers a CT scan revealed the infant had suffered subdural hemotoma to her skull. Doctors were not able to determine the cause of the brain hemorrhaging as external injuries to the head or scalp were not evident.
Investigators questioned the parents a second time that day as officials had the baby airlifted to Greenville for further testing. The tests revealed the infant had multiple bleeds to the brain and retinal hemorrhages to both eyes. Doctors told officers the injuries were consistent with the child being shaken very violently. Medical records revealed the victim was a healthy baby prior to the incident, with relatively minor problems.
Investigators questioned the father again a day after the incident and he gave the same version of events he initially gave at the scene. When deputies and State Law Enforcement Division agents met with the suspect at the hospital three days later to question him again, he admitted he panicked when he returned to the child's room and saw her in the sitting position, then picked the baby up and began shaking her to try to get a response.