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September 5, 2013

Police: Abuse of infants ‘shocking’

Ada — An Ada couple was arrested this week in an alleged child abuse case involving two infants.

Arrested were David Allen Stewart, 20, and Cassie Marie Stewart, 23. Authorities allege injuries to two infants include multiple fractured bones.

Ada Police Detective Mickey Ballard was alerted to the case Aug. 16 after an infant was admitted into Mercy Hospital Ada. He spoke with Dr. Jay Snell. Snell said the baby suffered “intracranial bleed — subdural.” Cassie Stewart told Snell the baby fell from a swing at their residence, a claim David Stewart confirmed, Ballard wrote in a report.

“Dr. Snell said there were no signs of external trauma,” Ballard said. “Dr. Snell said from what he observed, (a) fall did not cause the intracranial bleed or there would have been external bruising. “The baby was transferred to OU Medical Center for a higher level of care.”

A brain scan indicated to physicians at the hospital that the baby’s injuries were consistent with being shaken.

“The medical records indicate retinal hemorrhaging,” Ballard wrote. “Dr. Stemky, with OU Medical Center, advised this is consistent with (the infant) being shaken and the injury being non-accidental. (The victim) had 13 rib fractures in various stages of healing from three to six weeks. Dr. Stemky said the fall from the swing did not cause these injuries.”

Ballard said David Stewart — a step father to the children — was watching the infants when the trauma occurred, while Cassie Stewart worked. Ballard said David Stewart gave several different accounts of what happened when the child allegedly fell from a swing.

“Due to the injuries to (the infant), (the infant’s twin) was taken for a physical ... at OU Medical Center and given a complete survey,” Ballard said. “Medical records indicate numerous healing rib fractures in various stages of healing.”

Ballard said the second twin suffered 21 fractures at different stages of healing. Both David and Cassie Stewart were arrested Tuesday and appeared before Judge Steven Kessinger through video arraignment Wednesday. David Stewart was ordered to remain in jail without bond. Cassie Stewart’s bond was set at $500,000. Officials with the district attorney’s office are waiting for follow up information before making a charging decision.

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