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Woman charged with nearly killing 1-year-old after she became frustrated with his crying, court documents say

Sept. 20, 2022 Updated Tue., Sept. 20, 2022 at 9:35 p.m.

A 24-year-old woman is accused of shaking, squeezing and restricting the airway of a 1-year-old, leading to the near death of the child.

Samara F. Bearley was charged with first-degree assault of a child and first-degree criminal mistreatment.

Bearley initially told police conflicting stories about what happened to the child but maintained the child’s injuries happened when he fell out of a playpen, according to a detective’s account in court documents.

She said she was in the bathroom on Aug. 8, heard two loud thuds and found the boy, who is a member of her family, unresponsive and drooling on the floor near the playpen, court records said. She said she then took him to an urgent care across the street.

Medical staff told police the boy required CPR, had a lowered respiratory rate, a brain bleed and other injuries. An ambulance took Bearley and the 1-year-old to Providence Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital for the boy’s injuries.

Later that month, Bearley told the detective there were occasions “where maybe I would squeeze a little tight or get frustrated because he would be crying so much.”

Bearley said she gets angry sometimes and is trying to get medications.

“My family has pushed me to the point I’m someone I’m not,” she said.

Bearley admitted she got frustrated and squeezed the infant, tossed him in the air and shook him because she could not find a way to stop him from crying, documents said. Eventually, the baby’s breathing became “kinda off” and “sporadic,” she said. His eyes were mostly shut and off to the side.

Police allege Bearley did not seek medical care for the 1-year-old for 30 minutes to one hour.

Besides brain, eye and spinal injuries, Dr. Kari Jones, at Sacred Heart, said the child had forearm fractures and bruising to his chin, abdomen and legs, and cuts on his torso, according to documents. Other injuries indicated possible sexual abuse, she said.

She told police a fall from a playpen, which is what Bearley initially suggested happened, would not cause the boy’s injuries.

Jones told police the boy has been slow to recover from the injuries.

“His traumatic brain injury appears to be worse than it was first considered during initial imaging,” she said in documents. “He is currently far from normal development and is considered, medically, ‘remarkably abnormal.’”

The brain injury puts him at risk for seizures, Jones said in documents. He is also at risk for significant developmental delay and will likely have learning and behavioral issues, she said. She said it’s possible he will have vision and hearing loss, and could require a long-term feeding tube.

“He will require extensive and intensive therapy and will likely need a permanent caretaker,” Jones told police.

Bearley, who was not listed in the Spokane County Jail roster Tuesday, is scheduled for an arraignment Oct. 5 in front of Spokane County Superior Court Judge Tony Hazel.

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