‘Significant force’: Doctor describes infant’s injuries allegedly caused by father at trial

Terrence Harper on trial, charged with injury to a child

A brain bleed and unexplained bruising were talked about extensively during the trial of a man accused of severely injuring his infant son.

SAN ANTONIO – A brain bleed and unexplained bruising were talked about extensively during the trial of a man accused of severely injuring his infant son.

In 2018, Terrence Harper was arrested and charged with injury to a child causing serious bodily injury, after it was alleged he severely injured his 4-month-old son Trace Harper. Those injuries permanently left his son disabled.

Dr. Bradley Norat, a pediatric child abuse doctor, was called back in 2018 to examine Trace’s injuries to see if they were caused by abuse.

A video of some of his assessments was shown to the jury of the baby’s abdomen, back and neck.

“Babies less than five months old shouldn’t be bruising, period,” Norat said.

Also talked about was the brain bleed Trace Harper sustained. Norat said it was so severe that half of his brain was without oxygen and an injury like that was caused by extreme force.

“It’s a force well beyond normal care and handling of an infant,” Norat said.

During cross-examination, the defense questioned the doctor’s assessment of the baby and even referred to Norat’s testimony as junk science.

Testimony in this trial is expected to continue on Thursday in the 186th district court.

If found guilty, Harper is facing up to life in prison.

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About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast South Texas Crime Stories.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.