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Iowa dad accused of shaking baby

By John Mangalonzo, The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa

Sept. 10–A 22-year-old Burlington man is jailed after being accused of shaking his 3-month-old child, who reportedly suffered a brain injury.

Timothy William Mitchell was booked into the Des Moines County jail charged in an initial police complaint with one count of child endangerment.

If convicted, Mitchell could be sentenced to as many as 10 years in prison.

In May, police got a report from the Department of Human Services regarding a 3-month-old child who was taken to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City “because of a brain bleed.”

The initial information received by detectives was the child was struck in the head with a book by a 2-year-old sibling.

Doctors reportedly told investigators the child’s injuries were not consistent with being hit in the head with a book, but rather by being dropped or hit.

Authorities said according to information they received from hospital officials, the child suffered an acute head injury and retinal hemorrhaging in both eyes.

The child was unable to see and track light.

Mitchell, during an interview with detectives, said he was watching both children when the 2-year-old struck the younger one with a book.

The father allegedly told police he was comforting the 3-month-old when the child squirmed and slipped out of his hands.

When he caught the child’s head, it snapped forward, according to what Mitchell told police.
Mitchell, police said, insisted he was upset with the older child for hitting the younger one, and he was holding the 3-month-old and bouncing the child to calm him down.

The man claimed he didn’t realize how hard he was bouncing the child “because he was so frustrated.”
Mitchell told police in his attempt to comfort the child, he “shook” the 3-month old harder than he should have.

Police said Mitchell mentioned he didn’t mean to hurt his son.|

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