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News / Northwest

Longview man charged in shaken-baby death

By Hayley Day, The Daily News
Published: March 20, 2023, 7:47am

LONGVIEW — A 25-year-old Longview man is charged with first-degree manslaughter after authorities say a 2-month-old baby died from shaken-baby syndrome last month.

Longview police arrested Randall Kane Kearns on March 2 after he reportedly told officers he slammed the baby on a bed, threw the infant in a car seat and knocked the child, strapped in the car seat, on the ground after being frustrated by the baby’s incessant crying.

On Feb. 21, the baby was reportedly taken off life support after being in the hospital for eight days. The infant died five days later, a police report states. An autopsy reportedly found the child died of blunt-force trauma to the head and the manner of death was ruled a homicide.

A police report states Kearns originally told officers he was unaware how the baby was injured, but eventually admitted he was the only adult with the child when he grew frustrated he could not console the infant’s cries for hours, which led to slamming the child on the bed and into the car seat, as well as “violently shaking” the baby.

A doctor reportedly told police officials found evidence of old and new brain bleeding, soft tissue injuries and bleeding around the spine, but no obvious outside injuries like cuts or scrapes on the child, indicating the baby was likely shaken.

The Mayo Clinic reports shaken-baby syndrome destroys a child’s brain cells, prevents the brain from getting enough oxygen and can cause permanent brain damage or death.

Court records show Kearns has no prior felony or domestic violence convictions. He is in Cowlitz County Jail with bail set at $100,000 and is scheduled to set a Cowlitz County Superior Court trial date on March 30.

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