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Doctors find injured baby had 22 broken bones

June 26, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

Doctors counted 22 broken bones in Thomas Caleb Smith's tiny body when he was first seen June 5 at the University of Maryland Medical Center, according to Washington County District Court records.

The infant, whose father Charles Herbert Smith has been charged with inflicting those injuries, turned 10 weeks old Friday - still a patient in fair condition at the Baltimore hospital.

Charles Herbert Smith was interviewed by Hagerstown City Police shortly after the child was brought to the Washington County Hospital in respiratory distress on the morning of June 5, according to the court records.

Smith, 37, told police he had cared for the baby all day on June 4 at the third-floor apartment he shares with his wife, Justina, at 2 Broadway.

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"During the interview, (Smith) stated that he may have been too rough with Thomas at times but he didn't think he could have been responsible for the extent of the injuries that Thomas had received. He denied shaking Thomas," court records said.

Smith was charged Wednesday with first- and second-degree attempted murder, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and child abuse - parent, court records said.

In court Thursday for a bond hearing, Smith vehemently denied those charges through his attorney, James Balog.

Dr. Robert Englander was one of the physicians treating Thomas when he was admitted to the hospital in Baltimore, court records said.

Englander told police that the injuries to Thomas were caused by a severe beating or by deliberately squeezing the child.

Englander added that on June 5, some of the baby's fractures were a week old while others were two to four weeks old, court records said.

Those fractures were found in several ribs, both thigh bones, one calf bone and the child's pelvis.

The child also had brain damage and swelling caused by oxygen being cut off, court records said.

"Dr. Englander advised this occurred minutes or to a maximum of a few hours before Thomas went into respiratory arrest" and was brought to the hospital in Hagerstown on June 5, court records said.

Charles Herbert Smith remained in the Washington County Detention Center Friday in lieu of $250,000 bond.

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