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Man Accused In Baby’s Injury Says He Never Meant To Harm Child

Reported by: Send eMail Dan Matics
Also Contributing: Jeff Morris
Reported: Jul. 1, 2014 11:46 AM EDT
Updated: Jul. 2, 2014 9:10 AM EDT
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

Ashland Abuse Arrest
Boyd County Detention Center

Ashland , Boyd County , Kentucky

A man who is accused of causing an infant’s severe head injury said he never aggressively shook the baby and was simply rocking the child to get him to stop crying.

"I didn't hurt him on purpose, and they're saying I am," said Joseph W. Blankenship, 20, of Ashland, Ky. "I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know that I hurt him."

Ashland police said Blankenship is charged with first-degree criminal abuse of a child less than 12 years of age after the 2-month-old boy he was caring for suffered head trauma and a brain bleed.

Police said they received a call about 5 p.m. Monday to respond to the emergency department of King’s Daughters Medical Center where the infant had been taken with severe head trauma that evidence indicated was non-accidental. The infant was transported to Cabell Huntington Hospital for further treatment.

Blankenship spoke to Eyewitness News from the Boyd County Detention Center on Tuesday and said he cares for the baby boy like his own child. He said he discovered something was wrong when he picked up the infant from his crib.

"I picked him up and he was lifeless," Blankenship said.

Detectives from the Ashland Police Department responded to assist and the initial investigation resulted in the arrest of Blankenship, the live-in boyfriend of the infant’s mother. Police said the injury to the infant occurred at Reeves Boulevard in Ashland.



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