In Shelby County, Gary Hawkins is charged with first degree murder in the death of 19 month-old Shamia Ivory.

The Shelby County Medical Examiner has ruled that Shamia Ivory’s death is a homicide. She died from multiple blunt force trauma. The child’s mother, Shamira Ivory went to the store while Mr. Hawkins watched the baby. New stories report that Shamia was crying that evening. Police became involved when medical staff from Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center notified them of the toddler’s death. Shamia died at approximately 11:30 pm on Wednesday, September 17, 2008.  

Prevention of death and injury related to child abuse: Monitor strangers around your child. Look for signs that the caregiver or parent delayed in seeking help for an injury or potential injury. Have a high-index of suspicion for an individual providing an inconsistent history about the mechanism of injury. Suspect intentional injury when the injury is inconsistent with the child’s developmental capabilities. Suspect abuse when fractures are present at varying degrees of healing stages. Look for bruises to the back of the body. Be suspicious if there are bald spots or broken hair on the scalp. Visualize the pattern of an injury to see if it resembles a belt, belt buckle, cigarette burn or scald injury from submersion in hot water. Suspect sexual abuse with trauma or infection of the perineal area.    

Christopher Keane
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California Child Abuse and Child Injury Lawyer
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