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Police: Baby brain dead after assault by father

Thu., April 8, 2010, 5:21 p.m.

When medics first saw Skyelynn Jamison this week, the two-month-old girl had a serious head injury, broken ribs and bruises all over her body.

Her father, 18-year-old Tyler L. Jamison, told a doctor on the phone earlier that he thought something was wrong, but police say he ignored orders to take the girl to a hospital immediately.

Now Skyelynn is on life support at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, and Jamison is in Spokane County Jail on a first-degree assault charge that police say will be amended to a homicide charge if Skyelynn dies. The girl is not expected to survive, said police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe.

Detectives arrested Jamison late Wednesday after his girlfriend’s family told 911 dispatchers he planned to leave town to escape arrest.

Spokane County District Court Judge Debra Hayes called the police description of the case “difficult for anyone to read” before ruling Jamison a flight risk Thursday. His bail was set at $200,000.

Jamison took Skyelynn to Providence Holy Family Hospital about noon Monday. That was hours after a doctor told him to bring the girl in immediately when Jamison said her eyes were “looking in different directions.” Doctors at Holy Family said the girl was in medical distress and rushed her to Sacred Heart.

Jamison denied hurting Skyelynn in an interview with detectives that day, but the next day, he reportedly described weeks of abuse sparked by Skyelynn crying.

Jamsion told police he got very frustrated a lost control when the baby started crying, according to documents prepared by detectives. “Tyler said starting in about mid March, he began using his fingers to pinch off Skyelynn’s windpipe when she would start crying.”

He cut off her breathing until she turned pale “a couple times a day until his fingernails started leaving scratches and cuts on Skyelynn’s skin,” according to the documents. He didn’t want anyone to notice what he was doing, so “he started cupping his hand over Skyelynn’s nose and mouth when she would cry.”

Jamison also reportedly told police that he sometimes squeezed Skylynn and may have broken ribs. Medics said the girl’s ribs appeared to have been broken at different times.

On Monday, the day Skyelynn was taken to the hospital, Jamison told police the baby began crying after he took her mother and his girlfriend, Kelsey Goble, to school about 7:30 a.m.

Jamison first pinched the girl’s windpipe until she was pale and her lips blue, then released his fingers but cupped his hand over her mouth and nose “for an unknown period of time,” according to court documents.

When he released his hand, Skyelynn’s eyes were looking in different directions and her breathing was raspy, authorities allege. Jamison told detectives he jabbed his finger against her chest to try to get her to breathe but that she was “very limp,” according to court documents.

Jamison picked up Goble about 10:30 a.m. and said their daughter’s eyes “had been acting funny and her breathing was not normal.” Skyelynn arrived at Holy Family about noon.

Skyelynn is the third Spokane baby in two years to suffer fatal injuries allegedly at the hands of a caretaker.

In March 2008, Nevaeh Alana Miller died after police say her mother’s boyfriend, Jereme J. Bassett, abused her. Bassett, 24, is scheduled for trial in June on one charge of second-degree murder.

In December 2008, Izayah Arlen Wayne Denison died at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend, Andrew W. Whitmire. Whitmire, 24, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in November and is serving 14 years in prison.

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