Eastern Washington Dad Charged With Causing 2-Week-Old Baby's Skull Fracture

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KENNEWICK, Wa. — The father of a 2-week-old Kennewick baby was charged Tuesday with hitting the boy and fracturing his skull.

Benton County prosecutors charged Nathan Lee Webster, 20, with second-degree assault of a child. They added the aggravating factors of the baby's vulnerability and Webster being in a position of trust at the time.

Despite the infant's serious injuries, he is expected to make a full recovery, show court records.

Investigators say Webster and the baby's 19-year-old mother were asleep on Nov. 24 when the baby woke up between 2:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. Webster got up to check on him.

The boy's mother said she heard the baby crying, but didn't think it was strange because he cries when he's being changed.

Later, when she woke up to feed the baby, she didn't see anything wrong. But, then at 10:30 a.m. she got up again and saw that his face was swollen and was showing bruises.

They took him to the free-standing Kadlec emergency room in Kennewick where doctors discovered the baby had a skull fracture, and called police. The boy was flown to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

Medical reports show the infant also had bruises on his left ear, forehead and face and broken blood vessels in his eye, said court records.

"Their report stated '(w)hen taken in totality; this constellation of findings can only be explained by abusive trauma. Blunt force trauma is evident on his face and ears and with the skull fracture,'" according to court records.