HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (TCD) -- A father was arrested and charged with capital murder this week after his infant was son died from what officials said was "abusive head trauma."
The Hot Springs Police Department said officers responded to a call at 220 Bellaire Drive about an unresponsive infant on Dec. 17 at 6:40 p.m. The child was taken to a nearby hospital and then transferred to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Medical personnel at Arkansas Children’s Hospital attempted lifesaving efforts, but the child was pronounced dead at 11:39 p.m. that day.
The Arkansas State Crime Lab ruled the 5-month-old boy’s death a homicide.
Webb reportedly told police he fed his son, put him in a "sleep sack," then rocked him until he noticed the child "suddenly became stiff." Webb said he opened the sleep sack and called 911 as he started CPR.
The Sentinel-Herald reports the child was able to breathe on his own when he went to National Park Medical Center and had "no visible signs of trauma."
The affidavit cited by The Sentinel-Record says staff members at Children’s Hospital told Hot Springs Police Detective Mark Fallis the child suffered "multiple injuries that consisted of bilateral subdural hemorrhages in the brain with swelling on both the left and right side." The swelling on the right side was reportedly worse than on the left. He also had fractured ribs on his left side, as well as retinal hemorrhages.
Dr. Rachel Clingenpeel reportedly told the detective the injuries were "caused specifically by trauma and not any medical disease."
Retinal hemorrhages are reportedly linked to "abusive head trauma" and can be caused by “violent rotational acceleration-deceleration of the head.”
According to The Sentinel-Record, Webb reportedly told police he picked up the infant from day care on Dec. 17 and "everything seemed normal." He allegedly tried feeding his son at approximately 6 p.m. after he "became fussy," The infant reportedly started "crying loudly," which caused Webb to become "aggravated."
Webb reportedly told police he "may have picked the child up quickly 2-3 times, pulled him closely into his body much harder than what he thought 3 or 4 times, and forcefully rocked him for approximately 10 minutes."
He allegedly said the way he rocked the child "could have caused his head to move back and forth" and he said he did it because "I was getting frustrated and annoyed with a baby crying, so insane."