Thursday, June 17, 2021
June 17, 2021

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Vancouver man is accused of injuring 2-month-old son

Medical staff: Baby showed multiple signs of head trauma

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

A Vancouver man is being held on $100,000 bail after allegedly causing brain trauma and other injuries to his 2-month-old son.

Wesley James Palmer, 31, appeared on a warrant Wednesday in Clark County Superior Court on a domestic violence charge of first-degree assault of a child. He is scheduled to be arraigned June 23, court records show.

Vancouver police were contacted May 31 after the baby’s parents brought him to the PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center emergency room. He was suffering a seizure and not breathing, the doctor said. The baby was transferred to Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

A nurse told police the baby was intubated in the pediatric intensive care unit and showed multiple signs of head trauma, the affidavit says.

A CT scan found multiple old and new brain bleeds and that the baby had a skull fracture. He also had bruising across his abdomen below the rib line and bleeding in both eyes. The doctor said the baby’s injuries “were consistent with abusive head trauma,” court records state.

The parents could not explain the cause of his injuries to medical staff.

The baby’s mother told police she left for work around 10 a.m. May 30, at which time he was conscious, acting normal and crying. She said she left him in Palmer’s care, according to the affidavit.

But about 10 minutes later, Palmer called her frantic, she said, and could not articulate what was wrong. She returned home immediately and saw Palmer holding the baby’s limp body, she said. She tried to rouse the baby, but he was unresponsive, court records state.

Palmer reportedly told her he thought the baby hit his head on a chest as he was removing him from a swing or that he may have set him down too hard. The mother said Palmer had been too rough with the baby in the past, causing bruising, the affidavit says.

Palmer told investigators the baby had been acting normal throughout the morning but was crying. Palmer said he became frustrated by his crying and did not know how to get the baby to stop. He then demonstrated on a doll how he picked up the baby from the swing, jerked him toward the bed and threw him down on a changing pad, causing his head to whip side-to-side, according to court records.

He said the baby’s crying immediately ceased, his breathing changed and he lost consciousness, the affidavit states.

Palmer allegedly said he threw the baby on the bed on one other occasion and pumped his legs too hard when he was mad, which caused the bruising on the baby’s abdomen, according to the affidavit.