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Johnstown man charged with violently shaking infant daughter

By: Maria Miller

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- A Johnstown man is jail, facing a series of assault charges as his infant daughter fights for her life in a Pittsburgh hospital. Detectives are calling it one of the worst cases of abuse they've ever seen.

The details are all laid out in a criminal complaint nearly four pages long. Police said the assault occurred in January while the girl was staying with her father:, a man police said was meeting her for the very time.

"She fell down the attic stairs." That's what police said Maurice Davis told them when his 16-month-old daughter was rushed from his home in Hornerstown to the ER, badly bruised and unconscious.
"We did learn that she was in the care and custody of the defendant at the time the injury occurred," said Detective Julie Wager. "His version of events is that she fell down the stairs. The problem that we have and the reason for the charges is that it doesn't match the medical evidence."
Doctors at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh said Davis' story doesn't add up. In a criminal complaint filed Friday, the girls' injuries take up nearly half a page detailing severe brain damage, internal bleeding, fractured bones, scrapes and bruises all over her tiny body -- injuries doctors say are not consistent with falling down the stairs, but rather direct impact and shaking.
"The child did sustain a traumatic brain injury and it's very, very serious," Wagner said. "(It's an injury) that will impact her life for the rest of her life."
Police said the alleged abuse took place in January but Davis wasn't arrested until Friday after a complete investigation showed Davis was the only one around when the child suffered her injuries.  
Without comparing previous cases, Wagner said it one of the worst cases she's ever seen.
"This is one of the most severe injuries that I've seen sustained ... One of the most severe head injuries that I've seen sustained to a child," Wagner.
Davis is in the Cambria County Prison. Police said he turned himself in Friday with a family member by his side.  
The child is receiving around the clock care at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Her condition is not available.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times