Local News

Two charged in assault that blinded 1-year-old

Posted April 30, 2010 12:20 p.m. EDT

— A Carrboro man and woman were charged Tuesday in connection with physical abuse that has left a 1-year-old girl blind, police said.

Christopher Ray McBride, 28, of 810 Old Fayetteville Road, was charged with felony child abuse and felony assault with injury.

The child's mother, Darleene April Fernandez, 26, of 810 Old Fayetteville Road, was charged as an accessory after the fact. Police Capt. Joel Booker said that Fernandez lived with McBride and knew about the abuse but didn't report it.

The girl, whose name wasn't released, was recently treated for serious injuries to the back of her head, base of her skull and spinal cord, Booker said. She also had older injuries.

McBride and Fernandez told doctors that the girl had fallen, but doctors said the injuries were inconsistent with that and had more likely been inflicted by a person, Booker said. He said that the suspects also told conflicting stories to hospital workers, social services workers and police.

The girl's injuries caused blindness which is not correctable, Booker said.

McBride and Fernandez were both being held in the Orange County jail Friday. McBride had a $500,000 secured bond, and Fernandez had a $75,000 bond.

McBride has a criminal record that dates to 1999 and includes convictions for assault on a female, simple assault, manufacturing drugs and breaking and entering, according to state Department of Correction records.