Second Person Arrested In Shaken Baby Case

Another person was arrested in connection to the case of a shaken 11-week-old baby.

According to a release, the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department also arrested Allyson Faye Herron for Accessory after the Fact, giving False Information to Medical Personnel, and Child Abuse resulting in Serious Bodily Injury. 

Michael Burgess is also facing additional charges. He is now charged with Malicious Assault and giving False Information to Medical Personnel. 

UPDATE: Jan. 23, 6:00 p.m.

A Beckley man is arrested after allegedly shaking a baby.

Raleigh County Deputies arrested Michael Burgess for child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury. Court documents state over the weekend, Burgess and another family member took the baby to a hospital in Raleigh County – that’s when deputies were called.

Lt. McCray with the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department said, “We were dispatched to Raleigh General Hospital concerning a child that had come in and had been having seizures, there was some suspision there that the child had been physically abused, so the hospital called the sheriff’s department.”

Doctors said the child was suffering from a head injury, broken ribs and a broken leg. The baby was taken to CAMC and placed on a ventilator.

Medical professionals confirmed the child’s injuries were caused by trauma. A witness told investigators they saw Burgess violently shake the baby.
Local pediatrician, Dr. John Fernald said, “With shaken baby syndrome, the trouble is for infants and young children, they have disproportionately large heads so their heads are a lot larger compared to the rest of the body than for older children or adults, and they have weak neck muscles… So when you shake a baby the head goes back and forth and — inside the head — the brain goes back and forth and so you end up with damage to the brain inside the head.”

Burgess allegedly admitted to slamming the child on the floor because he was aggravated.

Fernald said shaking a baby can cause serious long term issues. 

“Unfortunately shaken baby is a very poor prognosis,” Fernald said. “Very often they can end up with cerebral palsy, they can end up with seizures, they can end up with intellectual disabilities, paralysis and babies die from it.”

The baby has undergone surgery at CAMC and is still in critical condition. Burgess remains in jail on bond.

ORIGINAL: Jan. 23, 2019 1:17 p.m.

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — A Beckley man is charged with child abuse with injury after he reportedly admitted to hurting an 11-week-old baby because he was ‘aggravated.” 

Raleigh County Deputies arrested Michael Chase Burgess. Court documents state on Saturday, January 19, 2019, Burgess and another family member took the baby to a local hospital because the child was having seizures. 

Doctors said the child was suffering from a head injury, broken ribs and a broken leg. The baby was taken to CAMC and placed on a ventilator. Medical professionals confirmed the child’s injuries were caused from trauma. 

A witness told investigators they saw Burgess violently shake the baby before it started having seizures. Burgess allegedly admitted to slamming the child on the floor because he became aggravated. 

No word on the baby’s condition at this time. Burgess is in jail on a $250,000 bond. 

This article was originally published by

Scott Juceam is one of the leading advocates against Shaken Baby Syndrome. Scott’s life changed when his daughter Hannah was shaken to death by her nanny in 2006. Since then, Scott has dedicated his life to preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome and child abuse.

To learn more about me, please visit my website at or you can click here.

Mom Makes Plea After ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome’

My world came crashing down on May 26, 2017. The night before, her father, whom I was separated from, picked her up and took her home with him. I was at work the next morning when my boss came up to me and told me to get to the hospital because my baby was there. I got in the car and realized I had missed about 20 calls from my mom. As I drove to the hospital she called again and when I answered all I can remember hearing was her yelling and crying.

Doctors and nurses were running in and out asking me a hundred questions that I had no answers to. I looked into my 3-month-old’s eyes and all I saw was a blank stare. The smiling happy baby that I just held the day before was not there anymore. The doctors were able to get her stable enough to be transferred to a Children’s Hospital. I still had no idea was what happening. They told me I couldn’t ride with her and to head to the Children’s hospital.

By that time my mom had shown up. She drove us to the other hospital. On our way, I received a phone call. I answered and a nurse from the hospital we had just left said, ‘I need you to come back.’ I was angry and said, ‘why!?’ I was thinking, ‘Oh I must’ve forgotten to sign something.’ The reality didn’t hit me until she replied, ‘I can’t tell you that over the phone.’

She didn’t have to tell me – I knew my daughter was gone. That was the moment that broke me. I began sobbing and screaming ‘she’s dead!’

We arrived at the hospital and were met by two police officers. They took us in a little room, if you’ve ever lost someone you know what room I’m talking about. The nurse bent down and said ‘your daughter coded as soon as they got her onto the ambulance. I wanted you to be able to tell her goodbye. They have been doing CPR for 20 minutes and they are going to stop soon.’

I ran over, dropped to my knees and grabbed her hand and began to pray out loud which I had never done before. It was about 2 minutes later when the doctor said, ‘I have a pulse,’ and I watched as color came back to her hand. They were able to once again get her stable enough to be transferred.

Once I arrived at the hospital, her father joined us. We were questioned by the hospital forensic doctor. We were finally able to go back and see her. I asked the PICU doctor ‘what happened?,’ and he replied, ‘shaken baby syndrome.’

I looked at my then husband and said, ‘did you shake her?’ He replied ‘no!’

I was in complete shock. A few minutes after hearing that and seeing my baby lying there completely lifeless on life support, we were all questioned by DCS investigators. I felt like I was in a nightmare. Like I would wake up the next day and it would all be back to the way it was less than 24 hours before.

I was in denial of what happened to her. I argued with the doctors saying, ‘there is no way she was injured.’ I researched day and night trying to figure out what ‘really happened’ to her since there wasn’t a confession.

My daughter was on life support for two weeks. The doctors told me she would most likely never come off of it, and if she did, it wouldn’t be during her first try. She came off of the vent her first try after being on it for two weeks. They also told me that she would most likely never move or open her eyes. After a few weeks she opened her eyes and began moving her arms and legs some.

She was discharged after 4 weeks and I was given custody of both children. DCS had asked both me and the father to take polygraph tests. I finally began to come out of denial after I was told her father failed his. He has never confessed to anything, but DCS investigators fully believe he shook her. The investigators told me they believed he was not acting right after they had told me, ‘we think you hurt your daughter,’ and I burst into tears and cried, ‘there’s no way, I would never hurt her!’ The investigator said, ‘I am sorry I had to do that to you, that is how we expect someone to act when told that, and your husband isn’t acting how we would expect him to.’

Once she was released from the hospital, I took my two kids to live at my grandmother’s home. I was completely drained emotionally and physically. I was thrown into a completely different life and I was terrified. I had no experience in caring for a special needs child. I had to learn day by day and made many mistakes along the way. I was so angry. I was angry at my then husband, I was angry at God for allowing that to happen to my child, and I felt sorry for myself. There were so many nights I laid awake with my child who would be screaming in pain and choking constantly, and I would eventually cry myself to sleep. I thought to myself, ‘I want my daughter back. This is not my daughter, I just want to see her smile again and hear her coo and hold her without tubes connected and without her storming and contracting her muscles.’ I quit my job to care for her. I didn’t know that a child like her was able to get private duty nursing care until months later. So it was just me and her. She required several different doctor’s appointments and therapies. After months of getting the hang of things, I finally got more used to a ‘new normal.’

I began to stop worrying about the things I had no control over and focus on the things that I did and still do have control over. Nothing ever came of my daughter suffering shaken baby syndrome other than the father was ordered to be supervised around the children, and for a while I was angry. I then learned that forgiveness is more for us than it is for the one we need to forgive. Once I decided that no matter if that person was sorry nor not, I’m still going to forgive and move forward, I felt such a weight lifted off of my shoulders. It has now been over a year since my daughter was injured. Although she has been diagnosed with blindness, Cerebral Palsy, Gastroparesis, and the doctors refer to her as severely disabled, she is a complete miracle in my eyes. My daughter’s father visits with her every few months under my supervision. I have grown to be okay with that and not let it get to me. We were married for almost four years, and throughout that time he struggled with addiction and I suffered from the consequences of those addictions. I got married when I found out I was pregnant with our first child in 2014. I quickly learned that is not a good enough reason to get married to someone. I can’t say it was all bad, but please, if you’re in a relationship that doesn’t feel right, get out before something bad happens, because eventually it will.

I still feel down from time to time about her situation. My heart still feels the loss. I hurt when I see a child her age who is doing so much more than her, and when I see two sisters playing together and think about how I used to daydream about that when my daughter was still in my belly. When I feel upset, I lean on my faith and remember that she’s still here and that’s what truly matters. This past May, exactly a year after her initial injury, I took my daughter to the ER because she was acting sickly. They told me they were going to admit her for a few days and then we could go home just to watch her. The next morning, doctors came running in saying she needs to go for a STAT CT scan because she appears to be in organ failure. After the scan, the doctors told me she is passing away and they are taking her back for emergency surgery and to not expect her to come out alive. I told her goodbye once again, and did the same thing I did the first time, dropping to my knees because they buckled and I almost passed out knowing that was the last time I would see her. Once again, she pulled through and survived. We were able to leave the hospital after an 88 day stay and several highs and lows and facing the unknown.

This article was originally published by the

Bethlehem Woman Charged In Assault Of Three Infants

A Bethlehem woman charged Thursday with assaulting her infant triplets in 2016 was so stressed in the weeks after their births that she told a caregiver she contemplated suicide and wanted to “throw a baby through a plate glass window,” court records say.

Ann Covalt Henry, 51, of the 400 block of Fifth Avenue, faces multiple felony counts of aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children.

Her arrest came out of a lengthy grand jury investigation after doctors found bruises, fractures and head injuries on the 8-week-old triplets, court records show.

Police say Henry assaulted all three babies in 2016, then injured one of them again last July, after she completed parenting classes and was allowed weekend visits with the children, who were in foster care.

According to the 54-page Lehigh County grand jury presentment:

Henry was 49 when she gave birth to the triplets in July 2016, after she and her husband, Marcus Henry, sought help from fertility specialists. The presentment does not name the children or say if they were all of the same gender.

Several doulas, which are trained caregivers who assist women during and after childbirth, visited the Henry home after the babies came home from the hospital. One doula who made three visits told the grand jury the home was dirty and smelled of cat urine and feces.

A second doula called Henry a “train wreck,” who became very upset when her babies cried.

Danielle Guntle, a third doula involved in Henry’s care, told the grand jury that she believed Henry “showed signs of postpartum depression.”

On Sept. 26, 2016, Henry and her husband brought one of the babies to St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill because his arm was twitching, the presentment states. The child was flown by helicopter to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where doctors found he had at least three fractured ribs and other injuries.

Doctors checked the other children and found injuries on them as well, the report states.

The babies were placed in foster care and the family was supervised by Lehigh County Office of Children & Youth Services, the report states. Henry — who works as an acupuncturist, according to the report — was only permitted supervised visits with her children for more than a year, then weekend visits were approved last summer.

After one visit, foster parents observed one of the children had a cut lip and swollen face. Doctors found that the child had “bruising due to lack of oxygen or blood flow to the brain,” and “a fracture to the tibia.”

Henry blamed the child’s swelling on “spicy eggs” the family ate at a Bethlehem restaurant, the presentment states. Police interviewed the cook, who said no spices were used on the eggs, court records show.

Child abuse expert Dr. Debra Esernio-Jenssen told the grand jury that one child’s injuries were consistent with “abusive head trauma,” a term used to describe symptoms of what formerly was called shaken baby syndrome.

According to the presentment, Henry denied hurting her children and said she suspected one of the doulas caused the injuries.

Marcus Henry told the grand jury he did not know who injured his children.

Henry was arraigned Thursday before District Judge Wayne Maura, sobbing softly as he read the allegations against her. She was released on $75,000 unsecured bail.

As a condition of her bail, Henry is not permitted contact with her children, said District Attorney Jim Martin.

Attempts to reach Henry on Thursday were not successful. Henry is represented by the county public defender’s office, which could not be reached Thursday evening.

This article was originally published by

Scott Juceam is one of the leading advocates against Shaken Baby Syndrome. Scott’s life changed when his daughter Hannah was shaken to death by her nanny in 2006. Since then, Scott has dedicated his life to preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome and child abuse.

To learn more about me, please visit my website at or you can click here.

Spanish Fork Couple Arrested After 3-Month-Old Hospitalized

A Spanish Fork couple was arrested Tuesday after police say they were responsible for their 3-month-old child’s burns, broken bones and other injuries, according to a jail report.
Daniel Howard Mercer, 27, and Whittney Angel Huber, 30, were arrested in connection with the case, and the Utah Division of Child and Family Services filed a warrant to take custody of the child Tuesday, the report stated.

Mercer was arrested on suspicion of child abuse, assault, threat of violence, domestic violence in the presence of a child and possession of marijuana, while Huber was arrested on suspicion of child abuse, according to Utah County Jail records.

Spanish Fork police began investigating on Monday when DCFS agents contacted them about a report of a child abuse offense involving a 3-month-old girl. The infant had been hospitalized at the University of Utah Hospital Burn Center with second-degree burns to her left hand that were believed to be suspicious, the report stated.

Doctors at Primary Children’s Hospital conducting an evaluation Tuesday also discovered the child had broken bones in her left and right arms, intracranial brain bleeding “consistent with shaken baby syndrome” and possible detached retinas, the report stated.

At the time of Mercer and Huber’s arrests Tuesday, a specialist had yet to test if the possible detached retinas would lead to “vision problems or loss of vision,” according to the report. It also wasn’t determined if the child needed surgery to repair her injuries.

Doctors told police that the internal injuries had likely occurred over the previous two weeks and Mercer and Huber told police that the burn happened Monday morning, according to the jail report. Detectives interviewed the couple on Tuesday and also searched their apartment to take photos and collect evidence.

After the couple was taken to the Spanish Fork police station for questioning, Huber described “multiple accounts of being assaulted by (Mercer), some of which have been reported and some that have not,” the jail report stated.

Court records show that on Dec. 26, Mercer was charged in 4th District Court with assault, criminal mischief, domestic violence in the presence of the child, unlawful detention of a minor and damage of a communication device, all class B misdemeanors from two separate cases. He pleaded no contest to the assault, domestic violence and criminal mischief charges on Thursday, while the other charges were dropped, the records show.

But police said Huber continued to allow Mercer back into her apartment, a state housing apartment that he wasn’t supposed to be in because it was for women and children. Huber also failed to seek care for their child’s injuries, the jail report stated.

Mercer “did admit to recklessly causing the burns to his infant daughter’s left hand” and to previous death threats to the child, according to the report. Neither Mercer or Huber confessed or explained their daughter’s other injuries while in police custody, the jail report stated.

Mercer and Huber have previous “extensive criminal histories involving drugs, theft, assaults (and) fraud” in addition to Mercer’s Dec. 26 charges, the report stated. It stated that Huber also had two other children who were removed from her custody and adopted out in the past.

This article was originally published by

Scott Juceam is one of the leading advocates against Shaken Baby Syndrome. Scott’s life changed when his daughter Hannah was shaken to death by her nanny in 2006. Since then, Scott has dedicated his life to preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome and child abuse.

To learn more about me, please visit my website at or you can click here.