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Augusta Father Accused of Shaking Newborn & Blaming Injuries on Pet

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An Augusta father remained in jail this weekend for violently shaking his newborn daughter and then blaming her life-threatening injuries on the pet Chihuahua, according to authorities.

Khalil Tyquan Baskett, 20, was charged earlier this month with aggravated assault and cruelty to children in the first degree.

The 5-week-old girl was hospitalized March 11, and X-rays exposed severe injuries including bleeding within the brain, multiple rib fractures, and a broken collarbone. Dr. Renuka Mehta refuted initial claims made by Baskett that the injuries were sustained from a Chihuahua falling on the baby.

Baskett provided investigators with a conflicting account, admitting to leaving the newborn unattended in a baby swing while he attended to personal matters. He alleged that during his absence, his 25-pound Chihuahua inadvertently jumped onto the baby, causing scratches to her face and chest. However, Baskett failed to seek medical assistance following the incident, despite noticing subsequent symptoms, according to a sheriff’s report.

Hannah Nichols, the child’s mother, said that she was not present during the alleged incident but had noticed her daughter’s deteriorating health in the days following. She told officers that she consulted with the child’s pediatrician and sought advice on managing her symptoms. Eventually, she rushed her to the emergency room with the assistance of the child’s  grandmother.

Upon receipt of the report, the sheriff’s office was notified, and the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) was promptly involved.

An update on the child’s condition was not immediately available, but authorities say she was originally admitted in critical condition. Baskett remained Sunday in the Charles B. Webster Detention Center under no bond.

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Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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