NORTH STRABANE (KDKA) — Jennifer Lynn Steven, 37, was taken back to the Washington County Jail after being held for trial Monday.
She’s accused of assaulting a then 2-month-old infant she was babysitting at a home in North Strabane.
Last month, the infant was taken to the emergency room for what’s being called “an acute life threatening event.”
Doctors found that she not only had a rib fracture but was healing from previous fractures. The parents told authorities Stevens watched their child on four separate occasions. A doctor confirmed the child’s injuries occurred during that timeframe.
Stevens’ stepfather and mother drove from Montana to support her. Her stepfather doesn’t believe she’s capable of inflicting such injuries.
“The charges are aggravated assault a reckless endangerment. I don’t believe that was the case, I think there was an accident,” said stepfather Chris Langhurst. “She’s a very compassionate, loving person. I don’t believe she could hurt a baby especially , she has a daughter and she never hurt her daughter.”
According to the criminal complaint, Stevens said she fell while carrying the baby down the stairs and squeezed the child to prevent her from getting hurt. She told a detective she fell four times while squeezing the infant.
Her parents believe the accidents were due to mental illness.