Pa. Mom Pleads Guilty To Using 4-Week-Old Baby As Weapon To Hit Boyfriend

Dan Nephin, Canadian Press, March 6, 2007

A woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to swinging her 4-week-old son like a bat to hit her boyfriend during a fight, fracturing the infant’s skull in the process.

Chytoria Graham, 27, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child under a plea agreement with prosecutors.

By pleading guilty, Graham acknowledged that on Oct. 8 she grabbed her son Jarron by his feet and swung him, hitting her boyfriend and seriously injuring the child.

At Graham’s preliminary hearing in December, paramedic Betty Schau, who treated the baby, recalled that Graham was crying and disheveled when medical crews arrived. She testified that Graham told her, “I swung him. I swung him like a bat.”

The judge ordered a psychological examination for Graham before her sentencing, set for May 8. The charges carry a minimum of five years in prison because the child was under age 12. Two lesser charges were dropped.

Graham’s previous attorney had said Graham did not use her child as a weapon, that the boy was hurt during a fight between the two adults and that Graham lied to authorities about how the injury occurred to protect her boyfriend.

Her current attorney, public defender Julia Dudics, however, said Tuesday that the choice to plead guilty was Graham’s. Dudics declined further comment except to say that Graham had told her she was depressed.

Jarron, who made a full recovery, and Graham’s four other children are currently in the custody of her parents.

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