By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – The 22-year-old Mineral resident accused of severely injuring a 4-month-old infant by shaking it last fall remains jailed and will have to wait a little longer for his trial, as a doctor reviews the case for a second look to find how the little one ended up with bleeding on the brain.
Kyle Davison was arrested in early October, after the baby girl was airlifted out of Morton to Marybridge Children’s Hospital and placed on life support. He and the baby’s mother told authorities the child began to choke and he took it next door to get help from a neighbor where they called 911.
A doctor at the hospital told police that tests indicated inter-cranial hemorrhage, consistent with shaken baby syndrome and not an accident, according to charging documents.
Davison is charged with first-degree assault of a child, an offense with a maximum penalty of life in prison. He being held on $100,000 bail in the Lewis County Jail.
The little girl was hospitalized for weeks, but was moved to Pope’s Kids Place in Centralia where she gets round-the-clock care, and has improved, according to Davison’s lawyer.
“The last time I talked with the mother, about a month ago, the baby was doing a lot better,” Sam Groberg said. “She’s hearing, seeing and eating through a feeding tube.”
The baby, identified only with the initials A.F.J.L. is 10 months old now. Her mother, Llacye Faye Link, is Davison’s ex-girlfriend.
Groberg last week sought a postponement of his client’s trial so another physician could examine the patient’s medical records, he said.
“Did the baby end up in the emergency room because of trauma or did the child have some issues already,” Groberg said. “Is it possible there are other things that caused it.”
Those are some of the questions the doctor will seek to answer, he said.
Groberg said doctors through research are learning of other things that can cause symptoms similar to shaken baby syndrome. In the past, physicians finding the combination of retinal hemorrhaging and bruising on the brain were quick to point to the diagnosis and child abuse, he said.
“Now there’s kind of this growing movement that says we have maybe jumped the gun on this, sometimes,” Groberg said.
Groberg has said Davison is factually innocent.
Details of what happened that night, Oct. 2 in Morton, come from charging documents with information primarily from Davison.
When Morton Police Chief Dan Mortensen interviewed him, he said his girlfriend and her baby had been visiting him at his house in Mineral, and the three of them went to Morton to go out to dinner, and then to Link’s apartment in town.
When they arrived, he changed the baby’s diaper and put it on the couch with a pillow next to her, he told the police chief. He thought they watched a little television.
It was around 11 p.m. when Link gave Davison the baby’s pajamas and asked him to put them on her while she stepped out to buy them a bag of pot, charging documents state.
Davison told the chief he sat down on the couch and took the baby’s bottle from her, then laid her on top of the night clothes; and as he was putting her arms into the pajamas, she began to choke, according to charging documents.
He told of laying her across his lap and patting her back, of holding her in front of him and seeing her not breathing, putting her over his shoulder and patting her, of her still being “white”, according to the documents.
When pressed by Mortensen, he said he was scared and didn’t know what to do and began to shake her, then seeing she was still white, carrying the baby to the apartment next door to ask for help, according to the documents.
He cried, according to the chief, putting his head in his hands.
“I knew better, I knew better. I shouldn’t have done that, I knew better,” Davison said.
His client said he didn’t shake the baby hard, nor did he intend to hurt her, Groberg said.
“There’s a huge difference between an ‘I’m angry’ shake and a resuscitative shake,” he said.
The Lewis County Prosecutors Office however alleges in its charge that Davison intentionally hurt the child, inflicting great bodily harm.
Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt last Thursday, when the request to postpone the trial was made, asked how the victim feels about the delay before granting the request.
“The mom is on Kyle’s side, she wants him exonerated,” Groberg said. “She doesn’t think my client did anything wrong.”
A review hearing is set for June 5. The trial was scheduled for next month, but is now on the court calendar for the week of July 14.
Lawyers at the same time postponed another trial for Davison, related to charges of second-degree theft and second-degree identity theft, until the week of July 21.