Weatherford Democrat

October 8, 2013

Infant’s death cause left undetermined


Weatherford Democrat

— By CHRISTIN COYNE

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office has not been able to determine how a 3-month-old Parker County infant died in April.

According to information released late last week by the medical examiner, the cause and manner of Laughton Champion’s death has been ruled undetermined. 

The boy’s father reported the 3-month-old had stopped breathing during an overnight stay.

The child was taken to the hospital by ambulance during the early morning hours of April 2 after the boy’s father called 911 from his residence in the 5300 block of FM Road 51 North and was placed on life support. He was pronounced dead on April 4.

The boy’s father reportedly told a Parker County sheriff’s investigator that the boy was sleeping with him when he noticed the boy had stopped breathing.

The father reportedly said he held the infant up to his ear and found his breaths were decreasing before turning him on his stomach and hitting him on the back to make him breathe or dislodge anything in his airway, according to court documents.

A doctor initially found trauma to the boy “consistent with severe abusive head injury on more than one occasion,” according to CPS.

Affidavits filed by Dr. Jamye Coffman and a CPS investigator state that an MRI and other initial tests April 2 revealed what were believed to be old and new brain bleeds and a spinal injury in the baby’s neck area. Additional diagnostic tests were pending at the time.

CPS twice responded to prior child abuse or neglect complaints involving the boy’s older sister, according to court records, but the allegations were either ruled out or forwarded to authorities in another state where the family had reportedly moved.

A criminal investigation was ongoing Tuesday, according to the Parker County Sheriff’s Office, which declined to say whether any charges were expected.

The Democrat made several attempts to contact the child’s mother Tuesday afternoon but was unable to reach her.