Police: Father threw baby into crib

A Franklin father was stressed out and angry when he threw his 7-month-old daughter into a crib with urine-soaked blankets, police said.

Christopher Michael Potts, 20, wasn’t sure how hard he threw the baby. But doctors said it was hard enough to cause a skull fracture, according to charging documents.

Potts then went to the bathroom. When he checked on the baby about 20 minutes later, her lips were turning blue. He called for help and performed CPR until emergency workers arrived, the documents said.

They rushed the baby to Johnson Memorial Hospital, but she was pronounced dead. An autopsy the next day showed she had died of blunt force trauma to her head, after she suffered a skull fracture to both the back and side of her head, according to charging documents.

Police spoke to both Potts and the baby’s mother at the hospital. The mother, 18-year-old Annabelle Anderson, was not in the room at the time. She had gotten up and gone into the living room that morning, according to the report said.

Potts told police he had gotten up about 10:30 a.m. Sept. 3 and went to look for something to eat. He didn’t know when the baby had been fed, the report said. He initially told police he went to the bathroom and then came back and checked on the baby and her lips were blue.

Investigators searched the home in Franklin Place Apartments, where they found a crib that smelled like urine. One of the blankets in the crib was damp and smelled like urine, and the mattress pad had multiple stains.

After the autopsy, police questioned Anderson and Potts again. They told Potts about the baby’s skull fracture, and he responded with a blank stare, the report said.

Potts asked if it could have happened when Anderson’s father was playing with the baby and she had fallen on the floor.

Police told him it could not have happened from a small fall.

He then told police he had dropped the baby into the crib.

Potts told investigators he had been stressed, and they don’t have much money. He and Anderson had fought about their struggles, and he had been frustrated and angry.

That morning, the baby had been fussing, and he picked her up, then dropped her into the crib because he needed to go to the bathroom, Potts told police.

Police asked a doctor if the baby could have been injured by being dropped into her crib, but the doctor said her injury would have come from being thrown, the report said.

Potts then told police he had thrown the baby into the crib because he was angry, the report said.

He was worried he had thrown her too hard, and when he came out of the bathroom he saw her lips were blue and she wasn’t breathing.

That’s when he started CPR, the report said.

Potts was arrested after the interviews with police. This week, he was charged with battery resulting in death of a child under age 14.

Potts, 2030 Franklin Cove, Apt. 3, was being held in the Johnson County jail on $30,000 bond.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.