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Shaken Baby Cases
Two Haywood County fathers are accused of shaking their infant babies and causing serious harm. The incidents happened within days of each other and in the same area.
The Haywood County Sheriff's Office says the latest shaken baby case happened between September 12 and September 17 in a trailer park in Jonathan Creek. Deputies arrested 21-year-old Raymond Fletcher at his home on Ben Drive. He's charged with felony child abuse, accused of shaking and intentionally abusing his 5-month-old baby. Court documents indicate hematomas on the brain and a detached retina consistent with shaken baby syndrome. The baby was taken to Mission hospital in Asheville.
Neighbors say raising a baby can be stressful. But they say if you can't handle it, find help. Ask for your neighbor's help. "
Ask somebody. Ask your parents. I don't know the circumstances behind everything. However, I feel that when it comes to a child, the child should be thought of first and put first before anybody," said Donna Morgan.
Fletcher's arrest follows a similar case last week when 19-year-old Ricky Wright of Jonathan Creek was charged with shaking his 3-month-old. He faces the same charge of felony child abuse and intentionally harming the child.
The Haywood County Sheriff Office says it's a coincidence these two cases came back to back in the same area. Detective James Marsh says they're not related and it's been years since the last shaken baby case.
"The last time we had a shaken baby case before this week in Haywood for the sheriff's office was in 2009," said Marsh.
Fletcher remains in jail on $50,000 bond. He has a court date scheduled for October 9th. Wright is scheduled to appear in court November 4th.
Detective Marsh says if you suspect babies are being harmed, contact authorities.
By Rex Hodge