Father faces homicide charge in baby’s deathAn Eau Claire couple waited almost six hours before calling 911 after their 5-month-old daughter allegedly had been thrown against a wall and shaken violently by her father.
By: By Andrew Dowd, The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Superior Telegram
An Eau Claire couple waited almost six hours before calling 911 after their 5-month-old daughter allegedly had been thrown against a wall and shaken violently by her father.
Even though both parents knew the child had been injured Tuesday night in the 11 o’clock hour and could tell something was wrong with her, they didn’t call 911 until 4:50 a.m. Wednesday.
The father, Tyreece J. Triplett, 19, 3143 Runway Ave., is in Eau Claire County Jail on felony charges of first-degree reckless homicide, child abuse and three misdemeanor charges. His bond was set at $500,000 cash during a Friday appearance in front of a county judge. The homicide charge alone has a maximum penalty of 60 years in prison and the child abuse charge carries up to 40 years of prison time, if Triplett is found guilty.
The girl’s mother, Molly A. Campbell, 18, 941 Richard Drive, is scheduled to appear in court Monday to be formally charged with child neglect and a couple of other misdemeanors. If found guilty, Campbell could be sentenced to nine months in jail for the charges against her.
Emergency medical technicians resuscitated the baby girl early Wednesday morning, transported her by ambulance to Sacred Heart Hospital and then airlifted the infant to Children’s Hospital in St. Paul. The baby died Thursday.
According to the criminal complaint, after the ambulance left Campbell’s apartment, an Eau Claire police officer noticed a man standing on the fire escape attached to the building. When the officer asked his name, Triplett gave a pseudonym several times until police records confirmed that it was a lie. Triplett then confessed to who he was and said he gave the wrong name because he has outstanding warrants.
During a police interrogation, Triplett said he went over to Campbell’s apartment and watched the baby as her mother went out at about 11 p.m. to pick up some friends. Within 10 minutes, the baby “freaked out,” Triplett said, and he shook her, threw her against the wall and then violently shook her crib with her in it.
When Campbell returned to the apartment, Triplett told her that the baby fell off the couch. Campbell tried opening the baby’s eyes, but only one would open at a time. Triplett described the baby as “out of it.”
Nurses at both the Eau Claire and St. Paul hospitals noted that the multiple skull fractures and internal bleeding were not consistent with a fall from a couch but indicated that the baby had been slammed against a hard surface.
During her interview with police, Campbell claimed she was alone Tuesday night and said the baby fell off the couch while she was caring for her.
Campbell faces a charge of party to the crime of bail jumping because she allowed Triplett into her apartment, even though his bail bond from a pending domestic abuse case did not permit him to see her or visit her home.
Triplett was charged Sept. 30 with misdemeanor domestic abuse charges of battery and disorderly conduct for punching Campbell in the face on Sept. 29 and scratching her face. In the criminal complaint for that case, Campbell told police that she feared what Triplett would do when police were called to her apartment on that night.
Copyright (c) 2010, The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis./Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.