FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A mother told Fort Wayne police she threw her infant daughter against a wall in the bedroom of their apartment because she couldn’t get the baby to stop crying. The mother, identified as Ashley Ann-Marie Walton (Strong), 28, tested positive for cocaine shortly after the incident and waited more than 35 minutes before seeking medical treatment for the baby. Based on activity on her cell phone, Walton allegedly tried to buy more cocaine during that time. The infant suffered a skull fracture and brain bleeding and was last reported to be in critical condition.
The incident took place on January 10 and according to court documents, Walton initially told police her three-year-old daughter dropped the baby girl on her head at their apartment in the Colony Bay complex on the city’s southwest side. Walton told investigators she was sleeping with the three-year-old and the infant when she woke up to find the infant crying on the bedroom floor. She told police the three-year-old was looking at the infant and said, “ut oh”.
Walton told police that when she picked the baby up, it seemed lethargic and was looking at her with a blank stare. She also said the baby’s face was swollen.
Walton told police the baby was injured at 12:03 p.m. and she immediately called EMS.
Police asked to look at Walton’s cell phone during the interview to verify her story and she agreed.
The phone showed that five calls had been placed right at 12:05 pm, but none of those calls were to EMS. Walton had also apparently texted a person at 12:26 pm to try and buy prescription pills and powder cocaine. Phone records indicate it wasn’t until 12:40 pm that Walton called EMS for medical help.
Police believe Walton continued to text message the same person to arrange a price for the drugs and a pick up time. At 3:38 p.m., while at the hospital where her baby girl was being treated, a text from Walton to the same person read, “ok cuz I’m at the hospital with the baby and I’m not trying to be gone long.”
After being transported from the hospital to the police station to be interviewed, Walton admitted that she had thrown her baby against the wall and that the three-year-old daughter had not dropped the baby on her head as she had originally claimed. She told police she hadn’t slept in two or three days and when she couldn’t get the child to stop crying, she threw the baby and it’s head hit the wall before landing on the bed. Walton also told police she changed the baby’s diaper and gave her a bath in the time between when she was injured and when EMS was called.
Walton faces the following charges:
- Battery, a class B felony
- Neglect of a Dependent, a class B felony (two counts)
As of Friday afternoon, Walton was listed in the Allen County Jail.