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Posted on Sat. Feb. 01, 2014 - 12:16 am EDT

Baby tossed against wall; mom charged

Parent tests positive for cocaine; she faces battery, neglect counts

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FORT WAYNE — A woman told police she threw her infant daughter against a wall because she couldn’t get the baby to stop crying.

She tested positive for cocaine shortly after she reported her infant’s condition to police.

Ashley A. Strong, 28, was charged Friday with felony battery and two counts of neglect of a dependent.

She called 911 at 12:40 p.m. Jan. 10 to report that her 3-year-old daughter had dropped her 3-week-old infant on the floor, according to court documents.

Strong, also known as Ashley A. Walton, told police she was sleeping in bed with both children and she woke up around noon to one of the children crying.

Strong said she picked up the baby and the back of her head was “floppy” and she appeared to have fluid under the skin, according to court documents.

The child’s face was swelling, and she was looking at Strong with a blank stare and appeared to be lethargic, according to court documents.

The infant had a skull fracture and a brain bleed and was in critical condition Jan. 10. An update on the infant’s condition was not available Friday. Her name was redacted from court documents.

A Fort Wayne police officer asked Strong why it took so long for her to call for emergency help, and she said she changed the baby’s diaper and gave her a bath, court documents said.

Strong then told police she had not slept for two or three days and could not get the baby to stop crying, so she threw the baby against the wall.

She said the baby’s head hit the wall and then landed on the bed, according to court documents.

Strong, of the 2100 block of Cheri Street, was being held at the Allen County Jail in lieu of $22,500 bail.

She was also being held without bond on a probation violation.

Phone records showed at 12:26 p.m., Strong was trying to buy prescription pills and what appeared to be powdered cocaine in text message photos and messages, police said.

The text messages continued as Strong arranged a price and time to pick up the narcotics, according to court documents. A message sent at 3:38 p.m. said, “ok cuz i.m at the hospital with the baby and I’m not trying to be gone long.”

A drug and alcohol test later showed Strong tested positive for cocaine, court records said.

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