- Associated Press - Friday, September 19, 2014

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A Casper woman faces felony charges alleging she burned an infant’s face with a hot saucepan and shook the baby hard enough to require trauma care.

The 14-month-old girl was flown to the children’s hospital in Aurora, Colorado, on Tuesday with a brain bleed and bleeding in the eyes. Authorities say she remains in stable condition.

The Casper Star-Tribune (https://bit.ly/1o9x9mN ) reported Casper prosecutors filed charges Wednesday in Natrona County Circuit Court against Stephanie Shirts, 25.

She’s charged with burning the girl, causing a brain injury and suffocating her with a blanket before resuscitating her.

Shirts faces four counts of child abuse, four counts of child endangerment with methamphetamine and one count of aggravated child abuse.

Bobbi Humphreys, 24, is the baby’s mother. She faces charges of four counts of child endangerment with methamphetamine and one count of child endangering.

Jason Cathcart, 37, faces four counts of child endangerment with methamphetamine and two counts of drug possession.

All three defendants are being held in the Natrona County Detention Center and will be represented by attorneys with the Wyoming Public Defender’s Office. No lawyers have been assigned yet, the office said Friday.

An emergency room doctor at Wyoming Medical Center contacted Casper police at 7 p.m. Tuesday after Humphreys brought the baby to the hospital. Officers arrived and found the baby lethargic and unresponsive, according to an officer’s sworn statement filed in court.

Detectives saw burns on the baby’s face and head and bruises on her face, abdomen, pelvis and legs, according to the officer’s statement. A neurosurgeon suggested the infant be transferred to a children’s hospital in Colorado because of the child’s level of trauma.

Three other children, all younger than 5, resided and the home shared by Shirts, Humphreys and Cathcart. Police say the children did not have any injuries. They were placed in foster care by the Department of Family Services.

Natrona County Circuit Court Judge Michael Patchen forbade the defendants to see the children except under the supervision of DFS. Patchen said Shirts should have no contact with the 14-month-old girl.

Authorities searched the home and found several bags of synthetic marijuana. They also found glass pipes containing meth residue and meth in the closet in Cathcart and Shirts’ room.

Mike Blonigen, Casper district attorney, said Friday he expects the defendants will have a preliminary hearing next Thursday at which a judge will decide whether the state’s case against them is strong enough to advance to district court.

Blonigen said it’s difficult to determine at this stage whether the girl suffered permanent injuries. He emphasized the defendants are presumed innocent.


Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, https://www.trib.com

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