1.6 McAuley

Child abuse suspect Brandon McAuley makes his way to Jones County Justice Court for his initial appearance.

A Moselle man is in jail facing a serious charge after being accused of causing serious injuries to an infant who was barely a month old.

Brandon McAuley, 26, was charged with felony child abuse and booked into the Jones County Adult Detention Center on Tuesday. He made his initial appearance in Jones County Justice Court on Wednesday and Judge David Lyons set his bond at $25,000.

The arrest comes nearly a month after McAuley took the baby to the emergency department at South Central Regional Medical Center, said Sgt. J.D. Carter of the Jones County Sheriff’s Department.

McAuley took the 5-week-old baby to the hospital around midnight on Dec. 8 and

claimed that he “rolled off the bed,” Carter said. Babies aren’t usually able to roll over by themselves until they’re 4 months old or so. McAuley later said that he dropped the baby, but the “evidence was not consistent” with either a drop or a fall, Carter said.

The baby had “multiple skull fractures” and was transferred from SCRMC to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Carter said.

The baby’s mother was in Petal staying with another man at the time of the incident, according to the report, but McAuley is believed to be the baby’s father.

The child was in the custody of Child Protective Services and doing OK, Carter said of the last report he received.

A young couple was arrested last month and charged with capital murder in the death of a 6-month baby who died after suffering a fractured skull. Brandon Gardner, also 26, and the baby’s mother, 22-year-old Brooke Stringer, were booked into the jail on $500,000 bond more than two years after her daughter Rosalee died.

Medical evidence led to their charges, too, because the baby’s injury was not consistent with any of the stories they told about what happened to her, investigators said. Gardner was not the father of that child.

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