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Girl dies after father says he dropped, shook baby

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By Sarah Bennett

While her 21-year-old father sat in a cell at Hardin County Detention Center, a 6-month-old infant died from a severe head injury Wednesday afternoon at a Louisville hospital.

Barry W. Williams Jr. of Elizabethtown is charged with first-degree assault in connection with his daughter’s injuries.

Elizabethtown Police spokesman Virgil Willoughby said additional charges are pending as the investigation continues. Police have not released the infant’s name.

According to a news release, EPD received a call Tuesday from Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville. The hospital reported it was treating an infant who was bleeding in her brain, police said.

Medical staff told detectives the injuries were sustained because of “shaken baby syndrome,” according to the release.

Willoughby said the attending physician also told police the child had sustained other injuries; however, the nature of those injuries will not be disclosed as the investigation is ongoing.

A preliminary investigation revealed Williams was caring for the child when she received the head injury, police said.

During an interview with Elizabethtown detectives at Louisville Metro Police Department, Williams admitted to causing the injury, according to the release.

According to a citation, Williams said he was giving his daughter a bath Monday night when he dropped the child on the floor.

Williams told police he shook the child to make her stop crying and then put her to bed, according to a citation.

On Tuesday, Willoughby said the child’s mother stopped by Williams’ residence on her way to school to visit her daughter.

The mother, who is not facing criminal charges, noticed something was wrong and took the child to her grandparents’ house, Willoughby said. Once there, an ambulance was called.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office pronounced the child dead Wednesday afternoon.

Williams is lodged at Hardin County Detention Center in lieu of a $100,000 cash bond.

He was arraigned Wednesday via video feed in Hardin District Court and is scheduled to appear March 8 for a preliminary hearing.

A search of local court records showed no criminal history for Williams in Hardin County.

First-degree assault is a Class B felony, which is punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted, according to Kentucky Revised Statutes.

Williams is the second Hardin County father in six weeks to face charges in connection to his infant’s death.

In January, Radcliff father Jarrod Davis, 23, was charged with murder after his 1-month-old son was found dead in his crib.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.