A 20-year-old Thurston County woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to child abuse charges after her baby was hospitalized with head injuries.
Leneisha J. Nicholas was arraigned in Thurston County Superior Court. She was arrested Sept. 12 and later charged with first-degree child assault and second-degree child assault. Her trial is set for the week of Nov. 17.
Lacey police responded to a call from Providence St. Peter Hospital staff on Sept. 10, according to court documents. Staff told police that a 10-month-old baby had been admitted with old and new skull fractures and they didn’t believe the mother’s explanation for the injuries.
The child was airlifted to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, where doctors discovered rib fractures in addition to two skull fractures and bruising around the eyes, ears and forehead, according to court documents.
Nicholas initially told officers that she dropped the baby while pushing the family’s small dog off of her, according to court documents. She explained that as the child fell, she grabbed his face and head. She said the child fell to the ground anyway, landing on his head, according to court documents.
Nicholas later confessed to officers that she had shaken the child until he had a seizure, according to court documents. She also admitted to squeezing the child two weeks earlier.
Thurston County Superior Court Judge Anne Hirsch set bail at $250,000, and Nicholas is still being held at Thurston County Jail.