Reno woman found guilty of child abuse after 23-month-old suffered brain damage
A 30-year-old Reno woman has been found guilty of child abuse after a 23-month-old child suffered a serious head injury that led to permanent brain damage, according to prosecutors.
Lashae R. Gallon was convicted after a week-long jury trial concluded last week, the Washoe County District Attorney's Office said in a statement. Gallon will be sentenced in April on the count of child abuse or neglect, with substantial bodily or mental harm, and she faces up to 20 years in prison.
Authorities began investigating the case in December 2015 when Reno Police and Child Protective Services responded to a local hospital on a report of a child with a life-threatening head injury.
According to prosecutors, detectives looked into the injury and learned Gallon was taking care of her partner's four children, who ranged in age from 4 months to 4 years old.
Gallon was alone with the children on the date of the incident, prosecutors said, and she claimed two of them fell out of a crib and onto the floor. She said they suffered minor injuries, though the 23-month-old was behaving differently.
The next day, the child suffered what appeared to be a seizure, and Gallon called 911, according to prosecutors. The child was taken to a hospital, where tests revealed a serious brain bleed.
Medical professionals said the injury was consistent with those suffered in a serious car accident, not a fall from a crib, and the child underwent emergency surgery.
Gallon was arrested due to contradictory statements she provided and the medical evaluation, according to the District Attorney's office.
A board-certified child abuse pediatrician testified that the child's injury was consistent with inflicted abusive head trauma, and the brain surgeon testified that the injury occurred within a few hours of the emergency surgery, prosecutors said.