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Authorities charge man with assault of baby

FARMINGTON – A Desloge man has been charged with first-degree assault for striking an infant.

Lindell Kitchell, 24, was charged Thursday in associate circuit court. The charge carries a sentence of 10 to 30 years or life in prison.

According to a probable cause statement, the investigation began when a 2-month-old baby was taken to the hospital and was found to have a skull fracture and bruising to the face.

The Division of Family Services received a hotline call and contacted police

A nursing supervisor told investigators the infant was in stable condition. She said the baby was initially taken to Mineral Area Regional Medical Center because he was not eating well and was vomiting.

The parents of the child took the child to Jefferson Memorial Hospital emergency room later that same night and then took him to their family doctor the following day. The nurse said the family doctor noticed bruising along the infants left eye and chin and then ran a CAT scan on the child, which led to the discovery of the skull fracture.

The charge alleges Kitchell attempted to kill or cause serious physical injury to the baby by striking him.

Kitchell initially told police he dropped a plastic baby bottle full of formula on his son’s head. He said this happened while the mother was gone.

However, the mother told police she witnessed Kitchell drop the bottle on the baby’s head.

A third individual told police, he and the mother were gone that day and when they got back, Kitchell told them he had dropped a bottle on the baby’s head, which was swollen.

The State Technical Assistance Team was contacted for their assistance in investigating possible child abuse. A reviewing doctor concluded it was “inconceivable” that dropping a bottle on a baby’s head would cause such consequences.

After police spoke with Kitchell again in March, he said he lied about dropping the baby bottle. He said he had slapped the baby with an open hand.

In April, after further investigation by police, Kitchell admitted he had thrown the baby on the couch, slapped him and then punched him in the head five or six times. He said he told the mother that he had dropped the bottle on his head to explain for the swelling that occurred.

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