Couple accused of abusing baby

By Noelle Steele | Daily Reporter

GREENFIELD — An Indianapolis man clutched his girlfriend’s baby so tightly against him while trying to calm her, he fractured her skull and ribs, police said

Now, prosecutors in two counties are pursuing child abuse cases against the Indianapolis couple.

Andrian Shelton, 26, 1305 Wright St., is charged in Marion County with battery causing serious bodily injury, a Level 3 felony. Hancock County prosecutors are pursuing a Level 6 felony neglect case against his girlfriend, Ashley Morrow, 23, 2702 Coldstream Lane. She is accused of failing to seek medical care for the child, Hancock County Prosecutor Brent Eaton said.

Investigators began interviewing family members on Sept. 19 after a doctor at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis treated a 2-month-old baby girl for a skull fracture. Medical professionals charged with her care also noted old injuries that appeared to be healing, including a broken collarbone and wrist, court records state.

Morrow’s parents urged her to seek medical care for the baby after stopping by to visit and noticing swelling on the baby’s head. She could not explain the injuries, charging documents state. Morrow told a family case manager with the Indiana Department of Child Services, “My boyfriend would not do this,” according to police reports.

Morrow told investigators her daughter had been in Shelton’s care for the past week, and detectives say the man admitted to having harmed the child accidentally. Shelton told them, “The injury to her head, I know for (a) fact, it was caused by me; it was me trying to calm her down,” according to court records.

Shelton described his first night alone with the infant, showing detectives how he cradled her against his chest, forcing her head against him so she wouldn’t move, court records state.

“I asked Andrian if he held (the baby’s) head too hard, and he said, ‘Yes,’” Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Detective Jonathan Schultz noted in his summary of the event.

Morrow’s roommate said the bulge on the baby’s head was evident the moment they picked the child of up from Shelton’s home, court records state.

The roommate told police Shelton “can be very violent,” records state.

Investigators pressed Shelton for more information about older injuries spotted by doctors; he said in early September, he noticed a bump on the baby’s shoulder, but Morrow “brushed it off,” court documents state.

Morrow is listed in court records as an Indianapolis resident, but local prosecutors believe the child was harmed at a Greenfield home in the 3000 block of West U.S. 40, Eaton said. Morrow did not seek medical care for the baby for her broken collarbone or wrist at the time, Eaton said.

The Level 3 felony Shelton faces carries a penalty range of three to 16 years and up to $10,000 in fines.

The Level 6 felony Morrow faces carries a penalty range of six months to two and a half years and up to $10,000 in fines.

Arrest warrants have been issued for both defendants; neither had been arrested at press time.