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Fairplay woman accused of breaking baby's limbs says she was exercising infant

Stacey Renee Reese is charged with six counts, including first-degree child abuse resulting in severe physical injury and first-degree assault

April 24, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Reese
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A Fairplay woman accused of breaking the arms and legs of her 8-month-old daughter told investigators the injuries occurred while exercising the infant, a charging document filed with Washington County District Court said.

The documents alleged that Stacey Renee Reese, 25, told investigators “I’ve always been rough, and I don’t mean to hurt her.”

Reese, of 7821 Sharpsburg Pike, is charged with six counts, including first-degree child abuse resulting in severe physical injury and first-degree assault.

Reese was jailed Tuesday. A bond review hearing by closed circuit television from the detention center was held Wednesday in Washington County District Court.

Assistant State’s Attorney Gina Cirincion described one of the baby’s injuries as “a shattered bone” and, over the objection of Assistant Public Defender Matthew Rogers, told District Judge R. Noel Spence, “This child was beaten over a period of time.”

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Reese has no criminal record and twin children to look after, said Rogers, who asked for a reduction in bail.

“These circumstances are unusual and warrant a substantial bond,” said Spence, who kept bail at $125,000. He set a date of May 21 for a preliminary hearing for Reese.

The child’s injuries came to light after Reese took her daughter to a doctor in Hagerstown on Friday morning, April 19, according to the application for statement of charges filed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

The doctor told Reese to take the child to the emergency room at Meritus Medical Center, the document said.

The doctor also told Reese the child would have to go to Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., the charging document said.

Investigators went to Reese’s home and a relative told them Reese was taking the child to Children’s National Medical Center after she dropped her husband off at work, the charging document said.

Investigators later found the baby at Meritus Medical Center, with “bruising covering the majority of her body,” the charging document said. At that point, the girl was diagnosed with a broken arm and Reese denied knowing how it happened, the document said.

The child had bruises on her head, which Reese said were caused by another child hitting her on the head with a box, the charging document said. Reese said also that it was from an intravenous tube placed in the child’s forehead when she had heart surgery at Children’s National Medical Center, the document said.

Reese said her daughter had been up much of the night before with a fever, according to the charging document.

Doctors subsequently found the infant had fractures to both arms and legs, with some showing evidence of healing, the charging document said. She also had intracranial and retinal hemorrhages, the document said.

There were possible bite marks on the child’s arm and leg, the charging document said.

No injuries were observed when the child was discharged from Children’s National Medical Center in March, the document said.

The injuries were “suspicious of child abuse and are non-accidental trauma,” a doctor at Meritus told investigators, the charging document said.

Reese said that since her daughter returned from the hospital on March 23, she had been exercising her arms and legs because she was developmentally delayed, the charging document said.

“The way I was pulling on her was too rough,” Reese told investigators, the charging document said. Had she known her daughter was being hurt, “I would have been softer and less rough,” she said, according to the document.

“Reese stated she always questions why she had to have a child with special needs,” the charging document said.

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