NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — An arrest warrant has been issued for a step-grandmother after a 3-month-old was discovered to have bleeding in multiple areas of his brain.
Angel Lee Johnson, 38, was charged with neglect of a dependent and domestic battery in Hamilton Superior Court 2 on May 17.
Court documents show Noblesville police and medics were called to a home on S. Third Street on May 13 in response to a 3-month-old having difficulty breathing. The home belonged to the child’s grandfather and step-grandmother.
The child’s parents told police the infant was normal and not exhibiting any symptoms when he was dropped off into the care of Johnson. When they came to pick him up the next day, the child was reportedly pale, not breathing properly and “tensing up.”
Johnson was the child’s main caretaker for the majority of the stay, according to multiple interviews. She claimed the baby was “totally fine” until he woke up screaming from a nap. She then surmised she scratched the boy’s face with her acrylic nails while giving CPR.
A doctor at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital diagnosed the child with “non-accidental abusive head trauma” and found bleeding in his brain and spine, as well as a concussion. The blood had to be drained from his spine during surgery.
Charging documents allege Johnson’s immediate response to hearing the diagnosis was “I did not shake him.” The doctor also said after hearing the diagnosis, Johnson said she dropped the child despite never mentioning a fall before. The doctor said even if the child was dropped, the fall would not cause the type of injuries he suffered.
The child also had marks on his face that the doctor believed to be bruises and not a scratch like Johnson claimed.
The infant had to have a follow-up surgery to have more blood removed from his brain and spine but is “no longer receiving medical care for his injuries” according to police.
A warrant for Johnson’s arrest was issued on May 18, 2023.