News

Snoqualmie man pleads guilty to assault on daughter

SEATTLE - On Sept. 7, 21-year-old Todd Hensley of

Snoqualmie pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree assault to a child.

Hensley's admission of guilt resolved a case that dated to mid-March.

On March 5 he delivered his two-and-one-half month old daughter

to the Snoqualmie Fire Department, saying she was "acting funny" and

"not breathing normal." Firefighters

transported the infant to the Meadowbrook Urgent Care Clinic and she was

then admitted to the Children's Hospital in Seattle.

A subsequent examination of the daughter determined she had

sustained brain damage - two subdural hematomas, or bleeding around the brain

- three fractured ribs, a hemorrhaged retina and a fractured tibia. Dr.

Kenneth Feldman checked the infant and later testified the injuries came

"from being violently shaken." The

hematomas could result in permanent blindness for the child.

Hensley had been baby-sitting his daughter for her mother, Candis

Scott, who was at work that day. He initially stated the baby was on his lap when

it became stiff and unresponsive, and later gave several other possible

explanations for the infant's injuries.

Prosecutors, however, claimed Hensley had a history of

physical abuse, citing Child Protective Services records which indicated he had

injured a three-year-old several times in 1997. King County prosecutors also cited

a December 1998 incident where Hensley reportedly pointed a gun

at the mother of his other child.

The judge has not set a sentencing date for Hensley, Dan Donahoe of

the prosecutor's office stated last Thursday. He anticipates it will take

place in October.

Following his admission of guilt, Hensley was returned to the

King County Jail.

Hensley faces a sentence of 2 to 3 years in prison, according

to Donahoe.

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