Father accused of abusing 6-month-old daughter - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Father accused of abusing 6-month-old daughter


A 6-month-old baby went into convulsions after her skull was fractured, and authorities say she was abused by her father.

James D. Reddell, 50, was charged Friday evening with first-degree domestic assault, child abuse and child endangerment. Prosecutors are seeking his bond be set at $250,000.

The baby's mother told authorities that she left her daughter and two of her other children in Reddell's care while she left to run errands about 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

When she returned three hours later, she said the baby was in Reddell's arms.

"The victim's body appeared limp and the victim's head and arms hung lifelessly," according to court documents. "Mr. Reddell appeared to be acting normal but refused to allow the victim's mother to see or hold the child by moving away from her when she attempted to take the victim from his arms."

The mother said Reddell assured her that the baby "was just tired," but she pushed to hold her little girl, according to court documents.

"Finally she was able to take the victim from Mr. Reddell and described the victim as 'dead weight in her arms.' The victim was unresponsive and the victim's left eye would not open," according to court records. "The victim's right eye was 'rolling,' and the victim had a large scratch on the victim's right leg. As the victim's mother held the victim, the victim began to have convulsions, and appeared to be having trouble breathing."

Reddell claimed that the baby fell off the bed, according to court documents. The mother rushed the baby to Children's Mercy Hospital.

She would later tell police that she had noticed small bruises and marks after Reddell had exclusively cared for the infant.

Doctors said the baby suffered a skull fracture and bleeding in the brain from severe head trauma that in their expert opinion did not occur by accident.

When hospital security told Reddell that he needed to speak with a social worker, he fled the scene. Raytown police were en route to the hospital to question him.

Authorities would later arrest Reddell while he was hiding underneath a staircase in a residence attached to where he lives.

After being taken into custody, Reddell immediately requested an attorney and declined to make a statement.

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