East Helena infant injured, parents arrested

2014-08-01T16:20:00Z 2014-08-02T00:24:51Z East Helena infant injured, parents arrestedBy JULIE BAUGHMAN Independent Record The Billings Gazette
August 01, 2014 4:20 pm  • 

HELENA — Two East Helena residents were arrested Thursday after their 8-week-old baby was treated at a local hospital for a slew of injuries.

The baby was diagnosed with multiple bruises on many parts of his body, including his ribs, inner and outer thighs, penis, back, abdomen and spine, according to two affidavits supporting the arrests.

Additionally, the baby suffered from multiple broken ribs, a possible broken toe, damage to the upper lip frenulum and other injuries, the affidavit said.

Patricia Ann Harris, 25, and Shane Gabriel Burson, 26, both of East Helena, are the baby’s parents and were both arrested in connection with the injuries, the affidavit said.

In April 2014, Harris discovered that Burson was previously convicted for an assault on a child in Washington state after causing bodily injury to an 8-month-old baby, but she told her mother she did not want to believe it, the affidavit supporting Harris’ arrest said.

With that knowledge, Harris gave birth to the child May 28 and repeatedly left the child alone in Burson’s care while she went to work, her affidavit said.

On multiple occasions prior to the arrests, Harris said she noticed bruises and injuries on the baby, but when she would ask Burson about them, he would tell her he didn’t know how the baby got them or that he didn’t notice them, his affidavit said.

Harris is charged with one count of felony criminal child endangerment and Burson is charged with one count of felony assault on a minor.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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