Man charged with ‘shaking’ girl
Lehighton Police have accused a man of violently shaking a 3-year-old girl, which doctors said caused permanent brain injuries.
Kareem Ronndell Maxie, 23, of Lansdowne, was jailed on charges on Monday for an incident which occurred in June.
A doctor who examined the victim said the girl will no longer have use of the left side of her body, possibly her vision, and will never lead a normal life due to her injuries.
Maxie was reportedly the boyfriend of the girl’s mother and worked as a home health aide. At the time she was injured, the girl was left in his care by her mother.
Maxie brought the 3-year-old to the emergency room at St. Luke’s Gnaden Huetten Campus around 5 a.m. on June 24. Because of her severe injuries, the child was immediately transported to Lehigh Valley Hospital.
Maxie told nurses that he was carrying the girl downstairs when he accidentally dropped her. There were also marks on her chest which he said happened when she was in the tub.
Upon further examination, doctors discovered the girl had a large brain bleed and were initially unsure if she would survive.
The medical director at Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital, Dr. Debra Jensen, oversaw the child’s care and said the injuries could not have been caused by a fall onto a carpeted stairway, which Maxie described. Dr. Jensen diagnosed the victim with abusive head trauma, another name for shaken baby syndrome.
She noted that the child’s injuries were the result of violent shaking without impact, which caused rotational acceleration/deceleration.
Jensen said there was a large bruise on the victim’s chest and two horizontal bruises on her back, but no trauma to the head or neck, and no rug burns which might have resulted from hitting the carpeted stairway.
Dr. Jensen said the cause of injuries was “neurological devastation.”
Maxie met with police following the incident and said it had occurred in the overnight hours. He said he was carrying the girl downstairs when he slipped and she fell down several stairs.
He said the girl cried, then went unconscious.
Maxie said he first placed the girl in a bathtub with cold water, then attempted to do rescue breaths. He said when he noticed the girl’s breathing shortening, he drove her to the hospital.
When asked why he did not call 911, Maxie said he did not think of it until after the fact. No one else was home at the time.
Maxie is facing charges including aggravated assault of a person under 13 and endangering the welfare of children — parent/guardian.
He was arraigned on Monday before Magisterial District Judge Eric Schrantz and sent to Carbon County Correctional Facility with bail set at 10 percent of $100,000.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 23.