Local News

Raleigh mom insists she didn't hurt 5-week-old daughter

Posted August 19, 2016 11:11 a.m. EDT
Updated August 19, 2016 5:47 p.m. EDT

— A Raleigh woman said Friday she was bewildered as to how her infant daughter was in the hospital fighting for her life and she was in court accused of hurting her.

"I would never, I did not hurt my child," Lauren Nicole Schmidt told District Judge Jacqueline Brewer, ignoring Brewer's advice not to speak without first consulting with an attorney.

"I don’t understand how this happened. I don’t understand how my baby is dying right now. I don’t understand what’s going on," Schmidt said.

Raleigh police on Thursday charged Schmidt, 27, of 308 Buck Jones Road, with felony child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury after investigators were called to Rex Hospital about a possible case of shaken baby syndrome.

According to an arrest warrant, the baby had a skull fracture and bleeding on her brain, and the abuse allegedly occurred Monday.

"This could potentially become a case where the child dies and become a murder case rather than a felony child abuse case," Wake County Assistant District Attorney Matt Lively said, arguing for Brewer to increase Schmidt's bond.

Schmidt began hyperventilating in court when Lively said her daughter might die.

She said she took the baby to the hospital because she thought the baby looked yellow and might have jaundice. She said she had left the baby with others a few times, including once when friends babysat while she went on a job interview.

"She didn’t have any bruises or anything," she said. "How do I know if she’s OK or not?"

The baby's name is Grace, Schmidt said, because not only was she told she could never have children but she also was robbed at gunpoint during her pregnancy.

"This was the biggest blessing. I was just starting to get my life back together, just moved back to Raleigh to have support from friends and family," she said.

Schmidt appeared in court with her arm in a sling, and Lively said she broke her arm when she became combative at the hospital and fell off a gurney.

In his pursuit of a higher bond, Lively also noted that police have evidence that Schmidt encouraged someone to lie about the baby's injuries before she went to the hospital.

Brewer raised the bond from $500,000 to $2 million, ordered that Schmidt have a court-appointed attorney and set the next hearing in the case for Sept. 8.