Update: Greenbrier Step-Mom Facing Battery Charges

    7:15 PM, Jul 9, 2008   |    comments
    Shawna Crites
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    A Greenbrier woman is behind bars accused of abusing her step daughter.

    Twenty-three-year-old Shawna Crites is facing first degree battery charges.   

    The toddler lives with her biological mother, but during a visit to her father's home she had to be taken to the Hospital by Med Flight.

    "She [the toddler] had brain swelling," Lieutenant Matt Rice with the Faulkner County Sheriffs Department says.  

    On July 2nd, the Faulkner County Sheriffs Department received a call from Arkansas Children's Hospital about suspected child abuse.  

    "When the doctor looked at the baby they could tell it was probably not from a house hold fall," Lt. Rice adds.  

    Doctors say the child had multiple internal head injuries related to shaken baby syndrome and police say Shawna Crites is the only suspect. She is in jail without bond.  

    Lt. Rice says, "Through interviews there at the hospital and the suspect which was step mom we were able to charge her with battery first."  

    Police say the child was in Crites' care when the toddler had to be rushed to the hospital.  

    Since we first aired the story Crites husband, Blake Crites told Today's THV he has hired an attorney and doesn't wish to discuss the matter. "My family is going through a difficult time." 

    Shawna Crites has a 2-year-old boy from a previous relationship. He had to be taken into DHS custody and Crites is currently pregnant with the couple's first child together.

    Lt. Rice adds, "The baby is still at Arkansas Children's. She had surgery the other day and I think she's doing well considering the situation."

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