Child dies after 'accidental' drop

Shaquille Leron Rawlins


A Beaumont man is in the Jefferson County Jail after his young toddler was found unresponsive in his North End home.

Shaquille Leron Rawlins, 21, was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury Dec. 19 for injury to a child, a second-degree felony.

According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by The Examiner, police responded to a home at 4595 Buffalo Street Sept. 12 to find Rawlins’ 8-month-old toddler unresponsive.

As the child was loaded into an ambulance, officers said they observed severe injuries to the child’s chest and back.

The affidavit said the young child was left in the care of Rawlins while the child’s mother ran errands, but when she returned about noon, their child was unconscious and she called police.

While the child’s mother was on the phone with police dispatch, the affidavit said Rawlins left the residence on foot.

Police later caught up to Rawlins, who initially told officers he didn’t know why the child was injured. Upon further interrogation, Rawlins admitted to throwing the baby into the air while playing with the child, but was unable to catch her and her head struck the concrete.

On Sept. 14, Rawlins’ 8-month-old daughter died as a result of her injuries.

A preliminary autopsy conducted by the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office on Sept. 17 showed the young girl “suffered a skull fracture with bleeding and bruising to both sides of her brain, and the pathologist expressed that he did not think that the actions described by the suspect could have caused the injuries that were observed,” according to the affidavit.

Rawlins was arrested Sept. 12 on unrelated warrants out of Navarro County and is in the Jefferson County Jail on $250,000 bond.

He is set to appear in Judge John Stevens’ Criminal District Court on Jan. 21, 2014.