A judge will reportedly decide the fate of a Kearney man accused of causing shaken baby syndrome to an infant.
Trey Tickle, 23, is reportedly charged in Buffalo County District Court with two counts of felony child abuse of the then-4-month-old infant between Nov. 24, 2012, and Dec. 5, 2012.
Tickle has reportedly already been convicted of felony possession of methamphetamine in the same incident. He also was initially charged with two counts of felony child abuse for placing the girl and her older brother in a meth environment.
However, in October, Judge John Icenogle dismissed the two latter counts saying the Buffalo County Attorney’s Office offered no medical or expert testimony about the degree of meth exposure and danger to the children’s lives or health.
Tickle has denied the shaken baby allegations. The trial began at 9 a.m. today.
Tickle hasn’t been sentenced on the meth possession charge, but faces up to five years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for later this month.
The girl’s mother, Brittney Schlund, 23, now of Grand Island was convicted of felony child abuse in the same incident for placing the girl and her brother in a situation that endangered them. In exchange for her plea, Schlund has agreed to testify against Tickle. Several medical professionals have been subpoenaed to testify in the trial. The trial was scheduled for a single day.
Court records say on Jan. 4, 2013, the 4-month-old infant was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital with seizure-like symptoms, vomiting and lethargy. Tests showed there was fluid around her brain and the girl was transported to Children’s Hospital in Omaha.
In Omaha, the infant showed significant bleeding between the brain and skull, records say, and a doctor determined her injuries were consistent with abusive head trauma, or shaken-baby syndrome.
The girl and her then-1½-year-old brother were placed into the care and custody of the state Department of Health and Human Services.
Omaha doctors also determined the girl had an area of her brain that had sustained a previous injury. It showed in a chronic area of bleeding between the brain and skull, records say.
The girl had been admitted to Good Sam in early December 2012 for vomiting.
Tickle and Schlund were interviewed, and the investigation revealed the girl may have fallen out of her swing on Dec. 31, 2012. Neither Tickle nor Schlund told doctors about the incident until they were questioned in Omaha.
Records say a subsequent interview with Tickle determined the girl’s injuries allegedly happened between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Dec. 31 while Tickle was alone with the child. The girl allegedly fell from the swing while Tickle was vacuuming.
Tickle’s meth possession charge stems from a November probation check by a Kearney Police Department officer and a state probation employee at Tickle’s and Schlund’s home. During the search, a glass pipe with a white residue was allegedly found on a nightstand in their bedroom.
Tickle remains in custody at Buffalo County Jail on a $15,000 bond.
If you have any questions or concerns about what can be done to help babies who have been shaken, or families of babies who have died, please call Christopher Keane and The Keane Law Firm toll-free for free consultation at(888) 592-5437 (KIDS), click on contact us here, or use the web form provided at https://www.keanelaw.com