Mother, girlfriend charged in deadly child abuse case

Leticia Young, Shari Newman charged with murder

By Chris Shadrock - Web - News Producer, Dillon Collier - Investigative Reporter, Bill Barajas - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A mother and her girlfriend have been arrested by San Antonio police and are facing capital murder charges in the death of a two and a half year-old girl.

Leticia Young and Shari Newman have both been arrested and charged in the child’s death.

"The medical examiner said that some of the injuries were very fresh, so they happened within hours of, probably, the death of the child," said Sgt. Jesse Salame, with the San Antonio Police Department.

According to an arrest affidavit, the victim’s mother, Shari Newman, took her daughter to Methodist Children’s Hospital on Saturday, where the child was pronounced dead.  

Hospital staff noticed several bruises “all over the child” the affidavit stated.

Police were called to the hospital and received consent to search the couple’s apartment.

"Once investigators got there, they talked to the hospital and they examined the body for themselves, and they saw that there was lots of bruising to the head, face, back, bruising all over the body," Salame said.

The pair claimed the bruises came when the child fell off a small, motorized toy car. They also said the child had been sick and throwing up for about a week, the affidavit stated. Newman told officers she could not find anyone to accept her insurance, so she was unable to get the child medical attention.

On Saturday, the two said they went outside for a smoke and when they came back inside they noticed the child was face down on the floor when they came back inside, according to the arrest affidavit.

The victim’s mother told police she attempted CPR for five or 10 minutes before calling 911.

Police said they found evidence of the child being physically abused inside the home, including vomit and blood and hair that appeared to have been pulled out of her head. 

"(There was) blood on the walls, some impression marks on the walls that looked like somebody had been pushed into the wall, along with blood and clumps of hair," Salame said.

Salame is asking everyone to be on the lookout and help end child abuse.

"I think it's important that people recognize the symptoms of abuse. Recognize that you have the responsibility to say something," Salame said.

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