A Pierce County woman was charged today in the assault of her 9-month-old son, who prosecutors say suffered permanent brain damage after being hit by the womans 14-year-old son as she smoked crack cocaine.
Robin Ross, 40, pleaded not guilty to second-degree criminal mistreatment. Bail was set at $500,000.
Her teenage son was charged with first-degree assault in juvenile court.
According to prosecutors:
On Nov. 30, Ross stayed out all night smoking crack cocaine and left the teen in charge of his 9-month-old and 2-year-old siblings.
She returned the next morning to find the baby unresponsive, and called 911.
Doctors at Mary Bridge Childrens Hospital said the baby had suffered severe head trauma. The treating physician said the child was 80 percent brain dead, and had an extremely small chance of survival.
The teen told police he is jealous of the baby and didnt like him. The baby spit up on him and started crying when he was watching him, at which point the boy became angry and hit him with a rubber ball and a pillow several times.
When the baby continued to cry, the teen shook him and dropped him on a bed.
The teen saw the baby was having trouble breathing and had unfocused eyes, but didnt call 911 because he didnt know the address and worried he would go to jail.
Ross said the teen had been violent before, and has a history of anger problems. A few weeks before the baby was hurt, she said, the teen held a knife to his 10-year-old brothers neck.
The 10-year-old told authorities about several cases of abuse by the teen, including being put in a choke hold and hit with a bat. He said his brother had punched the two younger children before.
Prosecutors say Ross knew about the abuse.
Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268