Seneca baby, thrown, stepped on, “miraculous” release from hospital

Leroy Morris (left) and Whitney Barnwell
Leroy Morris (left) and Whitney Barnwell

The newborn that was shaken, thrown and stepped on in Seneca has been released from the hospital, according to Seneca Police Chief John Covington.

He says the child will have a long recovery road ahead and will possibly have many unknown medical challenges as a result of the life threatening injuries she received.

Covington says it is no less than miraculous that she has made it to this point.

The baby was in critical condition at Greenville Memorial Hospital after police say her mother’s boyfriend admitted that he shook the child and threw her.

The 48-day-old baby had multiple skull fractures, a broken collarbone, a broken arm, a fractured eye socket, and a fractured femur, and a spinal cord injury.

Chief Covington says the child was taken into Emergency Protective Custody and placed in foster care by DSS.

The mother told investigators that she would often leave the infant with her live-in boyfriend Leroy Morris and that she noticed the baby’s injuries after she had been in Morris’ care.

Morris has been charged with Unlawful conduct toward a child and Inflicting great bodily injury upon a child and is being held without bond.

The mother, Whitney Barnwell, has also been arrested and charged with three counts of unlawful conduct towards a child and is being held on $75,000 bond.

Barnwell noticed swelling on her daughter’s head and black eye, so she took the infant to the hospital in Seneca, where the infant was later transferred to Greenville.

Seneca Police interviewed Morris about the child’s injuries. Police say he admitted that he dropped the infant on its head and stepped on her on Christmas Eve night while he was drinking and using illegal drugs.

They say Morris also told them he was frustrated with the child’s crying and began shaking her before throwing the infant.

Seneca Police say more charges and arrests are possible.

D.S.S. is also assisting in the investigation.

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