SAN ANGELO— A San Angelo man has taken a plea deal for injuring his roommate’s infant child.
Samuel Benjamin Jeter, 29, has pleaded guilty and agreed to a deal for Injury to a Child after dropping and shaking the infant.
According to court documents, law enforcement officers were called to the 2900 block of JFK Drive on August 17, 2022. While in Jeter’s care, a 3-month-old had sustained injuries including contusions to the forehead and was receiving live saving emergency care from Shannon Medical Center.
A doctor there told police that the child had acute brain injuries, possibly non-acute brain injuries, bruising around the left eye, and fluid on the front part of the brain. The doctor then advised that the child would need specialized, lifesaving pediatric medical treatment at Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin, Texas.
Jaylin Deanda and Eli Sarsosa, who have already taken plea deals for their involvment, were interviewed. Deanda said that on August 17, 2022, she left her child in Jeter’s care at the residence on JFK Drive. When she returned, the child had red marks on and around the left eye area and Deanda also noticed the child’s breathing was labored and the child was unresponsive. Both Deanda and Sarsosa took the child to Shannon Medical Center for emergency care.
When Jeter was interviewed, he said the child began screaming and he grew frustrated. He held the child by its torso and shook the child as he said to stop crying. Jeter’s frustration continued and he dropped the child onto a bed and it “flopped” backwards. Then, Jeter swung the child back and forth and threw it about a foot into the air. He caught the child the first time but the second time the child dropped onto Jeter’s face.
Jeter said that felt like getting punched in the nose. He explained that within minutes of being shaken and thrown, the child had labored breathing and was not responsive. Jeter said he was not trying to shake the child a lot because he had read about it and “it is bad to shake a baby”. He did acknowledge that he knew it was dangerous to shake the child.
Jeter was arrested on September 2, 2022, and has remained in the Tom Green County Jail since. In exchange for a guilty plea, Jeter was sentenced to 10 years in state prison.