Police: Infant suffers brain damage after father allegedly shook him 50 times

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The Norfolk Police Department arrested two parents in March who are accused of shaking their baby and causing brain damage.
Madison Jewell, 22, and her fiance, Travis Emerson, 24, are accused of causing brain damage to their three-month-old son after the infant was allegedly shaken about 50 times since his birth. (Courtesy of the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office)

NORFOLK — A three-month-old baby boy was severely brain damaged after his father allegedly shook him about 50 times, police say.

The baby’s parent’s, Travis Emerson, 24, and Madison Jewell, 22, were arrested on March 14, one day after taking their son to the hospital because he was having seizures, according to documents filed in Norfolk Circuit Court.

That trip was the baby’s second hospital visit in about a month. His first happened on Feb. 10 when his grandmother, who was babysitting him, noticed bruising on the baby’s forehead and around his eyes.

She told the baby’s parents to take him to the hospital. He had a CAT scan done at Norfolk Sentara Leigh Hospital, but doctors didn’t find any skull fractures and released the infant back into his parent’s care, court documents state.

On March 13, Jewell took her baby to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters because he was having seizures. There he was given a MRI which revealed that his brain was bleeding.

A doctor told police the baby had been shaken at least twice since his February exam, and that he will never function normally again.

Jewell told police that her fiance, Emerson, had shaken their baby “violently” about 50 times since he was born, according to court documents

She and Emerson were both charged with child abuse and neglect with serious injury. Emerson was also charged with two counts of malicious wounding.

The pair were bonded out of jail on March 20.

Mayfield can be reached at adrienne.m@southsidedaily.com.

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Adrienne Mayfield is an award-winning, multi-media journalist hailing from Clermont, Fla. She moved to Lynchburg, Va. on a whim when she was 19, and worked her way to Hampton Roads in 2013. Adrienne is passionate about telling people stories via covering public safety and the judicial system. She isn’t afraid to take a heads-on approach to covering crime, including knocking on doors to get the details police aren’t sharing. Adrienne is a 2014 Old Dominion University graduate who still lives within walking distance of the college. You may see her cruising around Downtown Norfolk on her bike, enjoying a sandwich from Grilled Cheese Bistro or playing fetch with her dog, Greta, at the Colonial Place dog park.