DANVILLE — A father accused of shaking his son to the point of injury contends he did so to prevent the child from choking.
Garland Jackson, 26, of the 400 block of North Beard Street, appeared in Vermilion County Circuit Court Thursday afternoon on charges in connection with injuries to his infant son, referred to in court by his initials — K.J.
Danville Police Detective Troy Hogren testified during Jackson’s preliminary hearing Thursday that the man was babysitting his son for about 5 hours on Christmas Eve when the incident occurred.
According to Hogren, Jackson gave K.J. a bottle of milk and propped up the bottle for the then 4-month-old child around 6 p.m. Jackson told police he awoke to the child choking on the milk.
Jackson said he first picked up the child putting K.J. on his chest in Jackson’s hand and thrusting the baby forward by holding onto K.J.’s leg. Jackson contends when that didn’t work he held the baby by his shoulders and shook him.
The whole incident, Jackson alleges, took about 15 seconds.
Danville police were alerted to K.J.’s injuries — specifically bleeding from the top and side of his brain —by a Department of Child and Family Services worker in Urbana on Dec. 27. At that time, K.J. was receiving treatment at Carle Foundation Hospital.
Hogren, citing the DCFS worker who had talked to Carle doctors, testified in court that the injuries were consistent with “trauma or most likely, shaking.”
As of Dec. 31, Hogren said the child was blind and suffered from paralysis on one side of his body. He noted, however, that doctors said prior to court Thursday the baby’s condition has improved. No details were given.
Jackson acknowledged the shaking incident during an interview with police on Jan. 2 at the Public Safety Building.