BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A baby with Down syndrome who was allegedly killed by her father suffered skull fractures and bleeding on the brain, according to court documents.
The injuries were discovered after doctors performed CT scans on the 7-week-old at Memorial Hospital in September, police said in more than 800 pages of investigative reports filed in Superior Court. She died at the hospital.
Gregory Higgins, 35, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and assaulting a child under 8. He’s held without bail.
Higgins was charged last month.
Around 11:30 a.m. Sept. 15, police were called to a report of a baby not breathing at a home in northwest Bakersfield. An officer performed CPR on the girl and she was rushed to Mercy Southwest Hospital and later transferred to Memorial’s pediatric intensive care unit.
Higgins told police he was home alone with the baby while his wife and their two other children went to McDonald’s to pick up lunch. He said the child started fussing in her bassinet and he held her.
The baby gasped and stopped breathing, Higgins said according to the heavily-redacted reports. He said he performed CPR for two minutes then called 911 and received further instructions as emergency responders were dispatched.
He told police the child vomited as he continued CPR.
Police performed a records check and found Higgins had no history of domestic violence or child abuse, and no contacts with Child Protective Services, the documents say.
Early the next day, hospital staff alerted police to the severity of the injuries. They said the fractures appeared to have been inflicted within 24 hours and the child was not expected to survive, the reports say.
Reinterviewed, Higgins said the month before he bumped the baby’s head on a glass table while removing her from the bassinet, according to the documents. He said the injury was minor.
The injuries might have been unintentionally inflicted when he performed CPR, Higgins told police.
Higgins was unemotional when questioned, police said.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled June 8.