SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake woman was charged Monday with violently shaking her 1-year-old daughter, causing a severe brain injury and blindness.
Sabrina Ewer, 21, is charged in 3rd District Court with five counts of child abuse, a second-degree felony.
Doctors at Primary Children’s Hospital notified police of the possible abuse on Aug. 21 after they discovered “excess spinal fluid pushing on (the girl’s) brain, which was compressing the brain to a flattened state, and which had to be drained by neurosurgeons to relieve the pressure on the baby’s brain,” according to charging documents.
The baby also had two fractured ribs that likely resulted “from violent squeezing of the baby’s chest,” the charges state, as well as bruising and swelling of her eyes “likely caused by a severe blow to the baby’s forehead.”
The infant also had retina damage in both eyes, which left her “functionally blind and is likely to remain without sight for an extended period of time,” according to the charges.
Doctors believe the injuries occurred on either Aug. 13 or 14.
When interviewed by police, Ewer admitted to having a “breakdown” because her daughter was fussy and wouldn’t stop crying. She said she first held the girl in a cradle position and swung her “way too fast,” the charges say. She then allegedly clenched her hands around the baby’s rib cage and “shook (her) back and forth repeatedly.”
A $500,000 arrest warrant was issued Monday. If she is able to make bail, prosecutors have requested that Ewer be forced to wear an ankle monitor, have no internet access and no contact with children.