Westminster infant's death may be ruled a homicide

Baby died two days after being shaken

father goes on trial Feb. 26

January 24, 2007|By Laura McCandlish | Laura McCandlish,Sun Reporter

A Westminster infant who died from shaken baby syndrome in October will likely be classified as a homicide victim, the only homicide in Carroll County in 2006, state police said yesterday.

The 3-month-old boy, Rylee J. Emge, died two days after sustaining severe injuries Oct. 13, according to court documents. After an investigation, the baby's father, Ryan J. Emge, 19, was indicted Dec. 8 on six counts of child abuse and assault in connection with the death.

Emge is accused of assaulting his son in their Westminster apartment in the 500 block of Lacosta Circle. Emge and the baby's mother, Meagan Morgan, drove the infant to Carroll Hospital Center, and the child was later flown to the intensive care unit at Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore, authorities said. Doctors at Hopkins pronounced the baby dead Oct. 15, according to court documents.

The National Institutes of Health describes shaken baby syndrome as a traumatic brain injury that can occur when infants are violently shaken, causing their brains to hit against their skulls.

The death will likely be ruled a homicide, although the autopsy report has yet to be released, said State Police Cpl. Troy E. McDonough, the lead investigator in the case.

State police reported no homicides in Carroll County from January through September 2006, based on preliminary crime statistics for the first nine months of the year. Carroll had two homicides in 2005.

If convicted, Emge faces up to 30 years imprisonment for child abuse resulting in death, Carroll County Deputy State's Attorney David P. Daggett said yesterday.

Following Emge's arraignment, family friends posted the $150,000 bond to get him released from the Carroll County Detention Center.

Family and friends are trying to put the incident behind them until it goes to trial, said Westminster resident Ann Norvell, who with her husband posted the bond for Emge.

His trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 26 in Carroll County Circuit Court.

laura.mccandlish@baltsun.com

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