Police have charged Amanda Brumfield, movie star Billy Bob Thornton’s 29-year-old daughter, with child neglect causing harm or disability. The criminal charge stems from the death of a toddler that she babysat last October. The baby was 1.
Brumfield reportedly told police that the baby she was taking care struck her head after falling out of a playpen. She was unable to revive the toddler and sought help two hours after the fall accident.
Autopsy results indicate that the girl sustained a traumatic brain injury and fractured her skull. The medical examiner ruled the baby’s death a homicide.
Police say that Brumfield’s account of what happened is not consistent with the toddler’s injuries. Police said they don’t believe that a 1-year-old can balance on a playpen railing. They agree that the toddler struck her head, but they say the force of impact had to have been harder than just falling out of a playpen.
Massachusetts Child Abuse
In the state of Massachusetts, the Department of Social Services looks into all cases involving potential child abuse. Child abuse allegations may include those involving Shaken Baby Syndrome, child rape, physical assault, indecent assault and battery, and child pornography.
According to the Department of Children and Families, Massachusetts ranks #2 among US states for having the most reported child abuse cases. In 2008, there were 119,247 Massachusetts child abuse cases reported-that’s 13 more a day than the number of Massachusetts child abuse cases that were reported in 2007.
That said, not every person accused of or arrested for child abuse is guilty, and parents, stepparents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, siblings, babysitters, and other caregivers can find themselves facing criminal charges for a crime they did not commit.
Thornton’s daughter arrested after baby’s death, MSNBC.com, May 31, 2009
Report: Thornton’s daughter charged in kid’s death, AP, May 31, 2009
Lynn child abuse rates outpacing most of U.S., ItemLive.com, June 1, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Office of Health and Human Services, Mass.gov
What is Child Abuse and Neglect?, Childwelfare.gov
Contact Altman & Altman LLP today.