Babysitter Charged With Assaulting Infant

By Beacon Staff

A Kalispell woman accused of dropping and shaking an infant while the child was in her care pleaded not guilty to three charges against her, including felony aggravated assault.

Prosecutors allege that Kimberly Butler, 24, shook the 7-month-old baby while she was babysitting, resulting in a skull fracture and retinal hemorrhaging. She is charged with aggravated assault, felony assault on a minor and felony criminal endangerment.

Butler appeared before Flathead District Judge Ted Lympus for her arraignment on Sept. 1, wearing a green jail uniform and her blond hair in a single, tight braid.

According to court records, a Kalispell police officer received a report on June 5 about a 7-month-old baby with a skull fracture.

A physician’s scan of the baby’s head showed the small fracture and an ophthalmologist determined the child sustained retinal hemorrhaging that was “consistent with non-accidental trauma,” records state.

The police officer questioned Butler after learning the baby had been in her care. Butler initially denied anything out of the ordinary had happened while she watched the infant, but then allegedly admitted that she had dropped the child.

After the fall, the baby began screaming and crying, records state, and Butler picked the child up around her chest, “yelled at her,” and then shook her.

Butler allegedly could not tell detectives how many times she shook the child.

According to multiple physicians, the baby’s injuries are consistent with being shaken and the extent of the injuries will be unknown until the baby is older and her cognitive levels can be further assessed.

Butler remains in the Flathead County Detention Center with bail set at $40,000.

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