Grand jury to hear Virginia Beach child-abuse charge – The Virginian
In early January, Samantha Murawski and her 4-month-old daughter moved into a Birdneck-area apartment with Murawski’s 22-year-old boyfriend.
Six days later, on Jan. 11, the baby girl was dead.
Police identified the infant as Aubrey Hannsz, and an autopsy determined she died of abusive head trauma consistent with shaken-baby syndrome, prosecutor Philip C. Hollowell said Tuesday during a hearing in Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. The infant also had suffered trauma to her neck, chest, abdomen and anus, Hollowell said.
The day after her death, police arrested Murawski’s boyfriend, Micah James Patterson, on a charge of felony child abuse.
Judge Randall Blow on Tuesday found there was enough evidence to send that charge to a Circuit Court grand jury, which similarly will determine whether there’s enough evidence to go to trial.
A grand jury last week also indicted Patterson, of the 1100 block of Ocean Trace Lane in Virginia Beach, on additional charges of second-degree murder and object sexual penetration in Aubrey’s death. He’s scheduled for trial on those charges Aug. 8.
Patterson is a Navy seaman assigned to the public safety staff at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, according to the Navy’s Personnel Command. He is originally from Seymour, Mo., and has been in the Navy almost five years, mostly assigned to maritime security squadrons, according to the command.
During the hearing Tuesday, Murawski testified she’d never seen Patterson abuse her daughter, but she said he’d often complain about the infant, saying, “She’s a pain. She’s being a pill.”
Patterson baby-sat Aubrey the morning of Jan. 10, after which Murawski found a set of thumb-sized bruises on the infant’s hips, she testified. Patterson told her he didn’t know where they came from, she said.
Aubrey began vomiting and died at a hospital the next day, Murawski said. She said she wouldn’t have harmed her daughter.
“I would never,” she said through tears. “I would never do anything ever to hurt that baby. She was my life.”
Kathy Adams, 757-222-5155, firstname.lastname@example.org