Crest Hill man found guilty of beating 3-month-old daughter
BY JANET LUNDQUIST firstname.lastname@example.org October 4, 2013 4:10PM
Carl R. Blankenship | Photo courtesy of Will County Sheriff's office
Updated: November 7, 2013 6:41AM
A Crest Hill man accused of beating his then-3-month-old daughter faces six to 30 years in prison after a Will County jury on Friday found him guilty of aggravated battery of a child, authorities said.
The girl, now 2, suffered a head injury and cannot walk or communicate, is legally blind and is fed through a tube in her stomach, her mother testified during the trial.
Carl Blankenship, 31, of the 1400 block of Pioneer Road, has been in jail in lieu of $500,000 bail since being arrested in October 2011, about four months after the incident. Blankenship is to be sentenced Dec. 6, according to Will County State’s Attorney’s office spokesman Charles B. Pelkie.
Blankenship testified that he accidentally dropped his infant daughter as she slipped out of his arms after a bath on June 2, 2011, the day she was first hospitalized. He told that to a detective but not until about four months after the incident.
“I didn’t want to lose my girls. I didn’t want them taken away from me,” Blankenship testified last week, explaining he was afraid police would not believe him and would take custody of his two daughters.
He also testified that “I love my kids” and said “it’s been hell” being away from them.
Blankenship was watching the baby alone the day she was hurt, her mother, Victoria Blankenship, testified.
Blankenship, who had worked an overnight shift and had little sleep, told police he fed the baby, burped her, then laid her in her bassinet while he used the rest room. When he returned, the baby looked like she was gasping for air, he told police.
Blankenship called his wife, then called 911, according to police. A police officer performed CPR until paramedics arrived, and the child was hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said.
In addition to saying the baby slipped from his arms, Blankenship testified that other incidents he mentioned to investigators — including accidentally dropping his cellphone on her head, and a sibling throwing a ball and a doll, both of which hit the baby’s head — also happened within weeks of her hospitalization.
When an investigator from the Department of Children and Family Services told Carl Blankenship that he didn’t believe he was telling the truth, Blankenship told him the baby’s sibling bumped the baby’s head with her knee while jumping on a bed the baby was lying on the same day he said he dropped the baby.