Oct 7, 2016 10:11 PM

UPDATE: Lebanon toddler suffered large brain bleed, is in critical condition after assault


LEBANON - A woman is being held at the Grafton County House of Corrections after police say she assaulted a toddler, who suffered a large brain bleed and had to undergo surgery.

Kayla L. Cassady, 22, was arrested and charged with first degree assault for causing serious injury to a 19-month-old girl she was taking care of on Thursday. The child is Cassady's boyfriend's daughter.

Lebanon Police said Cassady called 9-1-1 and said the girl was having a medical emergency. At the time, Cassady told police she didn't know what caused the injuries.

“At one point, the child was unconscious but had regained consciousness, but there was some suspicion of further injury to the head of the child, which was confirmed later at the hospital," said Lebanon Police Chief Richard Mello.

The child was transported to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center for further evaluation. According to court documents, doctors there observed she had a large internal bleed in her brain, had uneven pupils, and had a difficult time controlling the right side of her body.

Court documents also show in later interviews, Cassady told police during an interview that she "didn't think she shook [the child] that hard." Police also asked her to demonstrate how she shook the child, and Cassady allegedly "raised her hands indicating that she shook [the child] in a front to back motion."

"These types of injuries are traumatic, whether the baby was shaken or had its head struck against an object, that’s a significant injury," Mello said.

The girl went into surgery on Thursday afternoon. On Friday, Mello said the latest update was she made it through surgery and was in critical condition, but her injuries were not life-threatening.

He also said this kind of a crime is very uncommon not only in the area, but across the state.

"It's a horrendous crime," he said. "The child’s very vulnerable, helpless, can’t defend itself, and to have this happen is upsetting."

Cassady was arraigned in the 2nd Circuit District Division Court in Lebanon on Friday afternoon. She was held on $2,000 cash bail and sent to the Grafton County Jail.

She is due back in court on October 18 for a probable cause hearing. If convicted, Cassady could face 7 to 15 years in prison for the felony charge.


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