Breaking Baby Arm Charges In Georgia
X was charged with two counts of cruelty to children based on allegations that he maliciously caused two-month-old XX XX excessive physical pain by deliberately breaking her arm and by failing to seek medical attention for her afterward.
In this appeal of his convictions, he challenges the sufficiency of the evidence.
Although X is not XX's father, he was engaged to marry her mother, XX, and lived with the mother and helped her care for the child.
Shortly before X and XX were married, she noticed that her daughter was not using her left arm and that the arm was limp. When she asked X if he knew why, he responded that XX had probably slept on it the wrong way. When XX began using the arm a day or two later, XX thought nothing more of it.
But after she and X returned from their honeymoon, they attended a wedding shower where a nurse observed XX and commented that she thought her arm might be broken.
Again, XX asked X how it might have happened, and he said he did not know.
The next day, XX was taken to the hospital and was diagnosed with a fractured humerus in her left arm. at the hospital, X was questioned by Department of Family & Children Services (DFACS) Investigator and Dade County Sheriff's Department Investigator H.
X acknowledged that he had noticed something wrong with the child's arm but again attributed it to her sleeping on it.
Later, DFACS workers called X and XX's home to inform them that it had been determined that XX also had a fractured rib.
Upon being interviewed again by Investigator H, X gave a taped statement in which he admitted that he had caused the injury to the child's arm.
X told the investigator that when he was alone with XX, he had become frustrated, grabbed her arm, pushed it downward in a twisting motion, and then heard a bone break.
But X also stated that when XX began using her arm again, he decided she was not injured.
X has since recanted his pretrial statement to police.
At trial he claimed that he made the statement only because he and XX had been threatened with loss of custody of the child. He said he had been promised that if he admitted causing the child's injury he would be provided counseling and would not be arrested.
H, however, testified that X's statement was induced by neither threats nor promises, and XX testified that after X was arrested, he called her and again admitted that he had caused the injury to the child's arm.
The weight to be given X's pretrial incriminatory statements was for the jury to decide See Simmons v. State, 236 Ga. App. 83, 85 (1) (510 S.E.2d 925) (1999).
Viewed in a light most favorable to the verdict, the evidence was sufficient to enable a rational trier of fact to find beyond a reasonable doubt that X acted maliciously in breaking the child's arm and failing to seek medical attention for her injury.