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Jun 24, 2016 9:40 AM

Child likely blind for life after he was allegedly beaten by woman who was caring for him

BRENTWOOD - A toddler who suffered two torn retinas after he was allegedly beaten by the woman who was caring for him will likely remain legally blind for life.

“He had to relearn to eat. He was in and out of comas. Now he’s learning to walk with a walking stick,” said his mother Lindsay Dubon-Romero, according to the Union Leader.

She spoke on Thursday in court, showing pictures of her son JoJo, as the Epping woman accused of assault, Jami Castine, appeared in Brentwood Circuit Court.

Castine, 27, of Epping, faces charges of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, and seven misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child, some of which accuse her of selling drugs while children were in her care.

She waived arraignment and remains free on $10,000 cash bail.

She is accused of hitting the boy repeatedly in the head in April, causing brain bleeds and both retinas to become partially detached. He was 18 months old at the time, police said. Castine also is accused of striking JoJo’s twin brother, Isaiah, causing bruising to his hip area, lower back and torso but no permanent injuries.

Their mother said she was homeless and was trying to find shelter for herself and her four children after her husband was deported. Castine began helping Dubon-Romero by watching the children at her Epping home in March.

“I feel guilty, but at the same time I was asking for help. I was going through DCYF asking them for resources to get into shelters, programs to help me with my children, everything. I don’t feel as if I neglected them. I was trying to do what was best for them … so they weren’t on the streets,” Dubon-Romero said.

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