As a newborn baby continued her fight to survive Tuesday, her father remained in the Fulton County jail accused of causing the injuries.
Gregory Odell Barnett, of Johns Creek, allegedly assaulted the baby after a fight with the child’s mother Jan. 12, according to a police report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The baby’s mother, Courtney Johnson, said her boyfriend had been violent with her in the past, but she never thought he would harm their child.
“I still can’t believe it, somebody that he said he loved,” Johnson told The AJC by phone Tuesday night. “A week later, I’m still trying to process it.”
Johnson told police she and Barnett, her live-in boyfriend, turned violent after the two were arguing in their Johns Creek home. Johnson said she left the home for about 20 minutes, and when she returned, she found the baby lying face down on a pillow and crying, suffering from severe swelling to her head, according to police.
Johnson and Barnett drove the baby to Emory Johns Creek Hospital, where a nurse called 911 to report the suspected child abuse, according to the police report.
“The baby’s rear, left and right side of her head looked deformed due to the massive amount of swelling,” the report states.
The baby was flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite and Barnett was arrested.
Barnett has been charged with cruelty to children, three counts of aggravated assault and aggravated battery and was being held Tuesday night without bond, according to Fulton jail records.
Johnson said initially, she was unsure if her youngest daughter would survive. But Tuesday, the child took a major step in her recovery when doctors were able to remove her from a ventilator.
“She’s breathing on her own and being a rock star,” Johnson said. “I’m encouraged and she’s doing much better than she was a week ago.”
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