What to Know
- A Queens woman is being charged with murder after the death of her step-grandson in September 2017.
- The defendant claimed that after she gave the baby a bottle and burped him, he began to vomit and had difficulty breathing.
- Further investigation and an autopsy showed the baby suffered Abusive Head Trauma.
A Queens woman is being charged with murder in the death of her step-grandson in September 2017, according to the district attorney's office.
Prosecutors say 11-month-old Jeremiah Callaghan died of abusive head trauma while he was under the care of his grandfather's wife, 29-year-old Shanica Callaghan of Rosedale.
Callaghan and her husband, 59-year-old Clinton Callaghan, had gotten custody of the Jeremiah after his mother began abusing drugs, according to authorities.
On the evening of Aug. 31, 2017, the couple took baby Jeremiah to Brookville Playground along with their three biological children. When they returned home, the baby appeared healthy.
Shanica Callaghan told authorities that while she was alone with Jeremiah in the house, she changed his diaper and gave him a bottle, and that's when he began to vomit and have difficult breathing.
Jeremiah was rushed to Jamaica Hospital in cardiac arrest and placed on a ventilator. After being transferred to Cohen Children’s Medical Center, he died on September 6, 2017, the district attorney's office said.
Further investigation and an autopsy showed the baby suffered a traumatic brain injury, retinal hemorrhages to both eyes, and extensive spinal cord damage, all consistent with abusive head trauma from violent and repetitive forces of being shaken, according to the district attorney's office.
Shanica Callaghan is awaiting trial and is being charged with second-degree murder, first-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child. If found guilty, she faces up to 25 years to life in prison.
Attorney information for the woman wasn't immediately available.