Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Father charged with involuntary manslaughter, allegedly shook infant

By Caroline Sweeney

UPDATE 5:14 p.m.: A call to the hospital was not returned, but the investigating officer said the infant is still alive.

POTTSTOWN – A borough man is facing involuntary manslaughter charges after allegedly shaking his three-month-old daughter so hard she needed to be placed on a ventilator at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
After extensive testing, doctors at the children’s hospital determined the infant suffered a stroke, a brain bleed, paralysis on the right side of body, convulsions and bruises on her left side, the center of her chest and on her chin.
Kenneth Thomas Conley, 20, was at home alone with the infant on March 13 around 6:50 p.m. when the incident occurred, police said in the affidavit of probable cause.
According to police, Conley was holding his daughter while she stood on his legs when he reached for a drink on the table causing her to wobble. The two allegedly bumped into each other; the baby’s chin hit Conley’s chin, police said.
Conley allegedly became “enraged,” then “violently shook the baby three to five times,” police said in the affidavit.
The infant cried and then when limp not long before the mother came home and called emergency services to the house in the 200 block of King Street.
The infant was transported to the Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, where she was treated for a concussion, police said. In subsequent interviews with police, Conley admitted to being too afraid to tell emergency personnel at Pottstown and at CHOP that he shook the infant.
When the infant started throwing up and suffering convulsions later on March 13, she was taken to CHOP, police said.
During a March 20 interview at the Pottstown Police Department, Conley, “kept reinforcing that the only thing that happened was that their chins collided,” police said.
Despite being told about the seriousness of his daughters condition, his story did not change.
However, less than hour later, Conley was back at the police department and allegedly told officers that he did shake his daughter.
Police said Conley was visibly upset.
During the interview, Conley allegedly told police, “she started to cry, then (I) started to cry. (I) held her a few minutes then her body went limp,”
Conley was charged with aggravated assault, criminal attempt at involuntary manslaughter, simple assault, involuntary manslaughter, and other related offenses.
He was arraigned by District Judge Kenneth E. Deatelhauser and his bail was set at $200,000. Conley is expected in the courtroom of District Judge Edward C. Kropp Sr. on April 2 at 11 a.m.

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