The mother of a 7-month-old girl who died of multiple head injuries has been charged with murder and child abuse, a Kansas attorney said.
Shelby Dawn Johnson, 26, of Oxford was charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Jesslinn Hulett.
Jesslinn, was taken to a hospital on April 1 and died four days later.
Johnson allegedly killed her infant daughter either by “cruelly beating” or “shaking” the baby, according to court documents. The baby’s injuries to her head included: scalp contusions, internal bleeding, three bone fractures to her skull, swelling of her brain, bilateral retinal hemorrhages and “related head injuries consistent with blunt force trauma.”
The girl needed immediate medical treatment, but Johnson went back to bed and the baby’s father found her not breathing about an hour later, court documents allege.
Spencer said he does not intend to file any charges against Schuyler Hulett, Jesslinn’s father. After the first three weeks of the initial investigation, much of their time was spent determining which parent to charge, he said.
Jesslinn, who had four siblings and “one on the way,” would have turned 1-year-old on Aug. 12, her obituary states.
It was on the morning of April 1 — Easter Sunday — that Hulett took Jesslinn to the emergency room at Sumner Regional Medical Center, court documents state.
Six days later a neighbor told police he heard a man in Hulett’s Wellington home yell at a woman, “You killed my (expletive) baby.” Hulett admitted to an FBI investigator that he did accuse Johnson of killing their child, but he never saw her hurt Jesslinn.
An autopsy determined that the child had multiple head injuries and “healing fractures” to her ribs. It found her death to be a homicide.
Court documents state that Dr. Katherine Melhorn, a specialist on traumatic injuries to children, said the injuries that killed Jesslinn had to have happened on Easter morning. They were caused either by shaking the child and hitting her head or by striking her head “onto something hard at least three times.”
Shelby Johnson was charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Jesslinn Hulett, Sumner County Attorney Kerwin Spencer said. She was arrested Thursday by the Wellington Police Department.
Jesslinn Kinslee Hulett
August 12, 2017 - April 05, 2018