Portland man accused of manslaughter of Vancouver baby

1-year-old died of blunt-force-trauma injury

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

Updated: August 1, 2013, 5:55 PM

 

A Portland man faces a charge of first-degree manslaughter in the May 29 death of a 1-year-old girl in Vancouver.

Andrew R. Hayes, 24, was arrested July 25 by the U.S. Marshals Service in Multnomah County, Ore.

A hearing to seek his extradition to Clark County is scheduled for Wednesday.

Hayes was baby-sitting Amya Gibson on the morning of May 29 at the home of Amya and her mother in the 1500 block of Ash Street in Vancouver when the baby suffered a blunt-force-trauma injury to her head, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Clark County Superior Court. The baby later died from the injury.

Details about what happened are sketchy.

The baby’s mother, Emilee Smith, said she was on her way home from work when Hayes, who is Smith’s friend, called to report that Amya was breathing but was “limp and something wasn’t right with her,” according to the affidavit.

After Smith arrived home, she called 911 at about 11:50 a.m. to request an ambulance for Amya because the baby was acting abnormally after falling off the bed.

During the call, Hayes took the phone and told the dispatcher that the baby was no longer breathing. Medics from American Medical Response were unable to save her.

Hayes told a Vancouver police officer that he had put the baby down to sleep on a bed in the bedroom and then left the room to watch TV, according to court documents.

He said when he returned to the bedroom, the baby was on the carpeted floor “lying on her back with her legs vertical against the box springs,” the affidavit states.

Suspicions arise

But Hayes’ story allegedly changed when he told another police investigator that when he found Amya, she was bent over at the waist with her chest and stomach resting on her legs and her head near her feet, according to the affidavit.

The investigator indicated he became suspicious because Hayes couldn’t provide a clear timeline of when the events occurred. He said he also was concerned because Hayes said the baby was on the edge of the bed when she fell, and Hayes wouldn’t have known that detail if he was, as he claimed, in another room when the fall happened, the affidavit says.

An autopsy by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that pooled blood in the baby’s brain was caused by blunt force trauma and that the injury was inconsistent with a fall from a 21-inch-tall bed onto a carpeted floor.

Additional testing at Oregon Health Science University found that the baby had a small bruise on her cerebellum, a part of the brain located on the lower back edge of the skull near the neck.

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts; http://facebook.com/ColTrends; paris.achen@columbian.com.

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts;http://facebook.com/ColTrends;</a>; paris.achen@columbian.com