BEAVER (KDKA) — A Beaver County man accused of assaulting his 8-month-old baby will stand trial.
Doctors say the little girl will have no chance at returning to a normal life.
Brian Donavich is facing aggravated assault charges. He told authorities his daughter was unconscious and barely breathing after he dropped her on the floor while babysitting.
“You may have observed in court, you may have seen that he was visibly shaken by this because of his long-standing position that it was an accident,” Mitchell Shahen, Donavich’s defense attorney, said.
Dr. Janet Squires, a child abuse expert at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, testified Donavich’s description of what happened at his Beaver Falls apartment does not match the child’s injuries.
She believes it’s case of abusive head trauma. Dr. Squires said the child is still on a ventilator, has blood on the brain, damaged brain tissue and had bruises on her neck – all from being shaken.
“She’s rendering the opinion that it was inflicted,” Shahen said. “And she’s totally ignoring what the mother believed was an accident and what the father said on numerous occasions was an accident consistently.”
Dr. Squires says the baby will eventually suffer from cerebral palsy and that she is already blind.
“In this case, he didn’t do anything that was criminal,” Shahen said.
Donavich is in the Beaver County Jail awaiting trial this summer. His daughter spent 30 days at Children’s Hospital is now being cared for at the Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh.