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Mother accused of shaking daughter, critically injuring her

Posted at 2:58 PM, Apr 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-03 14:58:45-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A 28-year-old woman is accused of violently shaking her 9-month-old daughter, critically injuring her in the process.

A detective from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office responded to the St. Mary's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) on March 26, 2018 in reference to a child who sustained multiple skull fractures. According to the arrest report, the child's injuries resulted in brain hemorrhaging, for which she underwent brain surgery.

During the operation, surgeons found a massive blood clot, possibly caused by prior trauma to the head.

The girl's mother, Kyanna Johnson, said she noticed a change in the girl's behavior starting on Marcy 18.

Johnson told the detective that the baby was sitting in the bath tub and fell backwards and hit her head on the base of the tub.

In the following days, Johnson said she noticed the child had a change in her eating patter, sleeping pattern, and was crying more than usual.

Johnson told detectives that on the morning of Sunday, March 25, her daughter woke up around 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. crying hysterically. She said the girl fell back asleep around noon and stayed asleep until 8 p.m. or 9 p.m.

Johnson said she was not concerned that the girl was sleeping so long due to the change in her sleeping pattern and she assumed that the girl had worn herself out from crying.

When Johnson checked on the girl, she noticed her diaper was wet. When she turned the girl over to change the diaper, Johnson told detectives the girl "was moaning really soft, pitiful cry like a kitten or something."

She said she then noticed that the child's right eye was droopy and she could not keep it open. Johnson wiped the child's eye with a washcloth and noticed that the girl could not keep her eye open and was very limp. She said she then became scared and called 911.

Johnson told detectives she did not know how the baby sustained injuries to her head and claimed that she has never struck her daughter in the head, has not ever shaken her, and has never dropped the girl.

On March 28, 2018, a doctor's report revealed that the child has massive retinal hemorrhages in both eyes with choroidal ruptures in both eyes (the right one being worse than the left.) According to the doctor's report, the most likely cause of these injuries is severe shaking of the baby with whiplash injury to the neck and retina. No other possible explanation could account for the severity of the trauma noticed in both eyes, according to the doctor.

On March 30, 2018, detectives spoke with Kyanna Johnson and she admitted to shaking the child and claimed it was an accident.

According to the arrest report, Johnson told detectives that the entire week her daughter would not stop crying hysterically no matter what she did.

Johnson told detectives that she was exhausted and did not know what to do. Through tears, Johnson admitted to detectives that sometime in the late night hours of Friday, March 23, 2018 and the early hours of Saturday, March 24, 2018, the baby was crying hysterically and Johnson walked into the baby's bedroom, picked her up from the crib and shook her.  Johnson said she does not recall how long she shook the child, but when she stopped shaking, the girl was no longer crying.

Johnson said she then placed the girl on her stomach in the crib and gave her a bottle.

According to PBSO, Johnson said she only shook the child the one time and does not recall shaking her any other time.

Detectives say Johnson disclosed that she was diagnosed with postpartum depression, but she stopped taking her medication a few months ago.

Kyanna Johnson was placed under arrest for Aggravated Child Abuse and is being held without bond at the Palm Beach County Jail.

The child's condition is life threatening and if she dies as a result of her injuries, additional charges will be filed.