A Sherman man has been indicted on multiple charges, including attempted murder of a child, after he allegedly beat and severely injured his three-month old daughter earlier this year.
A copy of the indictment revealed that Damon Deshawn Finley, 24, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, injury to a child, and attempted capital murder of child under the age of ten years old. Each charge is a first degree felony, punishable by up to life in prison.
An indictment is a formal charge and not an indication of guilt.
Officers with the Sherman Police Department were first alerted to the child's injuries after Finley and the child's mother took the child to a Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical on the evening of January 5 for seizure-like symptoms.
“I can't go too much into the facts, but basically the parents showed up with the child in bad medical shape,” First Assistant Grayson County District Attorney Kerye Ashmore said Thursday. “(She) was (flown) to Children's Medical center in Dallas. Multiple brain injuries were found. Multiple subdural hemorrhages — which usually is associated with a traumatic brain injury — of different ages were found and multiple rib fractures, in various stage of healing, were also found.”
According to a Sherman Police Department criminal complaint, both Finley and the child's mother told investigators they could not explain how the child sustained the injuries. However, Ashmore said investigators were told that Finley was responsible for the injuries.
“The victim can't tell you what happened,” Ashmore said, referencing the child's age and inability to communicate. “So, a lot of times, in this kind of case, you have to determine who had the child when the injuries were inflicted.”
It was unclear exactly how the injuries were sustained, but a pediatrician who examined the girl and was cited in the complaint, told investigators that the brain bruises, retinal hemorrhages in both eyes and at least 18 rib fractures were “indicative of multiple episodes of violence and abusive head trauma, likely caused by shaking.”
“Sometimes you get a defense of, 'Oh, well, the child fell' or 'I accidentally dropped the child,' something like that,” Ashmore said. “So, if you can show that there are multiple injuries at different times, then that pretty much negates any type of claim like that.”
The child was placed in the custody of Child Protective Services within several hours of arriving at the Dallas hospital. Ashmore said he did not know whether Finely has any more children, but said a CPS case against the family was still pending Thursday.
Finley was intially arrested by Sherman Police on a charge of injury to child and was booked into the Grayson County Jail on January 16. He posted $20,000 bond and was released on January 24. No attorney is currently listed for Finley. Ashmore said Finely would be arraigned in the coming weeks and he felt as though the DA's office had built a strong case against the defendant.
“Certainly, these are very, very serious crimes,” Ashmore said. “The most innocent and the youngest people of our society are the ones who have no way of defending themselves.”