Charges: 10-Day-Old Baby Had 2 Black Eyes

HASTINGS, Minn. (WCCO) — A South St. Paul mother is accused of abusing her 10-day-old son after he was brought to the emergency room with two black eyes.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Dakota County, 30-year-old Jennifer Ann Pickar went to a St. Paul emergency room on New Year’s Day seeking treatment for tremors.

While she was waiting, a nurse noticed the child had two black eyes and suggested treatment at Children’s Hospital.

Closer examination revealed bruising, bone fractures and bleeding in the front and back of his brain, according to the complaint.

Doctors intubated the child due to deteriorating condition and surgically inserted a shunt into the child’s brain to reduce swelling.

The complaint says the child is expected to face potential deficits because of the injuries, which doctors said are consistent with multiple impacts to the face.

Pickar told authorities that she had fallen asleep with the child in her bed the night before. She said she did not remember doing anything that would’ve injured her son.

A few days later, she told police she had a history of seizures and believed both she and the child must have struck the metal crib next to her bed that evening. Investigators noted bruises on Pickar’s face and arm that had not been visible during their earlier interrogation.

Pickar, who the criminal complaint says is 6 feet tall and weighs 230 pounds, couldn’t explain why she thought it would be safe to sleep in the same bed with her infant son given her history of seizures. She said she was on a medication she thought would lower her “seizure threshold.”

The criminal complaint also says the defendant told her mother first that she had a seizure and dropped the child, and later said she rolled around in bed during a seizure and hit her son.

Pickar faces to felony counts of child neglect and child endangerment resulting in substantial bodily harm.


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