Woman charged with cruelty after baby's skull fracture found

WINDER - A 23-year-old woman was charged with battery and cruelty to children after her 3-week-old son was taken to the hospital when he stopped breathing and officials found a skull fracture and bruises on his body.

Lindafaye "Michelle" Watson told police June 21 that her son had stopped breathing when they were lying in bed together, hours after a cousin she was baby-sitting allegedly hit the baby in the head with a toy truck.

Police were called back to the Barrow Regional Medical Center about two hours after the baby was taken in. According to a police report, nurses discovered swollen tissue and bruising from his left temple and around his eye and large bruises on his back, neck and abdomen. The baby was also bleeding internally in his brain and had a fractured tibia.

Sgt. Rachel Love of the Winder Police Department said the baby is in foster care and Watson is in custody. The baby was released from Scottish Rite Hospital, where he was transferred after nurses discovered the extent of his injuries.

Lt. Dennis Dorsey, spokesman for the Winder Police Department, said Wallace claimed she had dropped her son, including once in the bath tub, and that he had rolled off the bed.

"The injuries were not consistent with her account," he said.

Wallace was charged with three counts each of battery and cruelty to children. She was denied bond in Magistrate Court, but will have another bond hearing in Superior Court today.