Bayview Man Charged in Child Abuse Case

Terry Shamlin Booking Photo

OLMITO–A Cameron County man is charged with three counts of child abuse and one count of lying to authorities for beatng an infant child that left her with a fracture skull and fractured ribs.

Sheriff detectives report Terry Shamlin, 19, of Bayview crushed his infant daughter’s and bashed in her head in frustration over having to take care of the child.

Shamlin told investigators he knowingly squeezed the child on April 3, causing five ribs to fracture. On May 7, he admitted he hit young girl’s head against the frame of the door that caused the fractured skull.

According to court documents, Child Protective Services was made aware of the alleged beating last month. They conducted an investigation that included a second child, who is 1-years-old

Shamlin blamed workers at Kids by the Bay Day Care Center in Port Isabel. Shamlin and his girlfriend, Samantha Curry denied any involvement with the child abuse.

Sheriff detectives claim CPS couldn’t determine who caused the injuries to the child and didn’t remove the child from the home.

CPS officials were contacted about the allegations and said they couldn’t comment on the case because the child wasn’t removed at that time. They don’t comment on investigation in which children aren’t removed.

After the second incident, a nurse from Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen called to report the fracture skull.

Sheriff detectives interviewed Shamlin and Curry again. At that point, Shamlin confirmed he was responsible and was frustrated over having to wake up and give the infant a bottle.

“On several occasions I have grabbed the baby out of her bassinet (and) I grabbed her frustrated and hard, by that I mean applying pressure” Shamlin said in a court affidavit.

“I was walking with my daughter on May 7th to take my daughter, I tripped on a pile of clothes and ran into the frame of the door,” Shamlin stated in the court document. “The baby ended up between the door frame and I.”

He also told authorities about the fractured ribs and other injuries caused in April.

“I think the cause of the bruising of my daughter’s back and rib fracture is from me grabbng her too hard when I get frustrated,” he said. “I feel that I have that anger bottled up inside and it causes me to get frustrated and take it out on the babies without knowing it.”

CPS has now removed both children from the care of Curry, while sheriff’s office and child abuse investigators investigate.

A doctor hasn’t ruled out shaking baby syndrome and is treating the child. The doctor states the fracture ribs may have been done two to four weeks prior to being taken to the hospital, according to the affidavit. Dr. Harper also states cut under the child’s tongue that may have happened prior to the May 8 incident.

“Dr. Harper also observed three seperate bumps with bruising on the victim’s forehead all with different degrees of healing and were caused by punching and grabbing of the victim with an excessive amount of force,” according to the court document.

“Dr. Harper also confirmed that the victim has skull fracture on the left-side of her head with blood hemorrhaging under the fracture. Dr. Harper stated the skull fracture may have happened May 8 to a week prior as a result of Blunt Force Trauma.”

Sheriff commanders said it may take awhile before they found the impact of the injuries on the child.

Shamlin is facing four felony counts and he is being held on a $225,000 bond in the Cameron County Jail.

 

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