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Springfield mom gets 5 years in prison after baby’s skull fractured

A Springfield woman will spend five years in prison after prosecutors say she didn’t seek immediate medical treatment for her baby after he was seriously injured.

Darrien Carter, 24, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of endangering children. In exchange for the guilty plea, Clark County Assistant Prosecutor Daniel Driscoll said the state dropped the felonious assault charge she also had faced. She appeared in court Tuesday for her sentencing.

RELATED: Springfield woman admits guilty in child abuse case

The infant suffered a fractured skull and brain bleeds last August, Driscoll said. He also had older injuries, including a fractured femur and two broken ribs.

“Ms. Carter has a son who was born severely premature,” he said. “She struggled with that.”

She previously admitted to police she caused the 4-month-old baby’s injuries, Clark County Common Pleas Court Judge Douglas Rastatter said in court Tuesday, although she only pleaded guilty to charges related to the failure to seek medical treatment.

“You state that the child started having seizures right after you slammed him into the swing,” he said.

The judge took Carter’s statement to police into account when he decided her sentence.

“I believe you did cause the injuries because you told the police you caused the injuries,” Rastatter said.

READ MORE: Clark County child abuse cases rise, leaders expand prevention efforts

Carter’s attorney, Shawn Thomas, argued her statement to police should be discounted because of her mental health issues.

The crime was caused by several problems that piled up on Carter, he said. The single mom had been suffering from postpartum depression at the time, he said in court, and wasn’t receiving help from her family.

“What we have here is probably one of the most challenging situations, where we have an extremely premature birth and all the things that go along with it,” Thomas said.

Her brother was also recently murdered, he said, and she had health issues from the emergency surgery she received after the birth of her son.

“It wasn’t intentional and it wasn’t truly neglectful,” he said. “It was a product of a whole lot of issues and mental health issues.”

The baby has since recovered from his injuries, Driscoll said, and Carter’s two young children have been placed in the care of a family member.


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