Lacey woman accused of injuring baby

A Lacey woman has been arrested after her baby was hospitalized with head injuries.

Leneisha J. Nicholas, 20, was booked into Thurston County Jail on Sept. 12, and had her preliminary court appearance Monday (Sept. 15). Charges of first-degree child assault/domestic violence and second-degree child assault/domestic violence are expected to be filed within 72 hours, said Joe Jackson, deputy prosecuting attorney.

According to court documents, Lacey police had responded to a call Sept. 10 from the emergency room staff at Providence St. Peter Hospital. Staff told police a 10-month-old child had arrived with old and new skull fractures, and said they didn’t believe the mother’s story about how the child was injured, according to court documents.

The child was airlifted to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. In addition to two skull fractures, the baby also had bruising to the ears, eyes and forehead, according to court documents.

“With the information we have now from the detectives who are at the hospital, the child may not make it,” said Joseph Wheeler, deputy prosecuting attorney, at Monday’s hearing. “It’s up in the air. It’s looking pretty grim.”

Nicholas initially told police she had accidentally dropped the baby while defending the child from her small dog. However, Nicholas later provided a full confession to Lacey police, stating that she had shaken the baby until his eyes rolled in the back of his head and he began to have a seizure, according to court documents. During the confession, she admitted to squeezing the baby two weeks before, which fractured the baby’s ribs, according to court documents.

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Anne Hirsch set bail for $250,000 after the state had initially requested bail for $1 million. Arraignment has been set for Sept. 30, at which time Nicholas will enter a plea. Nicholas has no prior criminal history, according to court records.