Bradenton man charged with manslaughter, child abuse in death of baby

June 30, 2014 

NORTH PORT -- North Port police have charged a Bradenton man with manslaughter and child abuse in the death of an 11-month-old baby, according to ABC7News in Fort Myers.

Police reported the child from North Port was brought to the emergency room in critical condition, having "violent trauma" injuries.

The child was being cared for Friday by Carter Bryant III, 35, in the 5300 block of Dunsmuir Road, according to the report.

The baby had retinal hemorrhages in both eyes, injuries consistent with violent shaking, according to the report.

There was also a large subdural hematoma on the baby's left forehead side from a fall several days before, according to the report.

The doctor told police the baby was "essentially non-functioning" - with a heartbeat but breathing only with the assistance of a ventilator.

Police also spoke with an unidentified witness who told police she and Bryant were in North Port watching the baby and waiting for a friend to arrive. The baby was upset and seemingly inconsolable, however, he did begin to calm down - so she left him with the Bryant while she went to the liquor store in Charlotte County, the report states.

As she left, she saw Carter kiss the baby and asked for Carter not to "bond with him like that," the report states.

About 20 minutes later, the person returned from the store and asked where the baby was, according to the report.

Bryant allegedly told her the child was in a "deep sleep" in a car seat in the master bedroom.

The woman told police she "knew something was wrong as soon as I saw him," the report states.

She touched the child and found he was "cold" to the touch and not breathing and screamed to "call 911" according to the report.

She told police she saw Bryant leave the room and come back and she said "I just knew somehow he didn't call 911" according to the report.

Bryant allegedly asked "What do you mean he's not breathing?" She ran to her phone and called 911 and the operator walked her through how to do chest compressions, according to the report.

Another friend came over and helped with the chest compressions until first-responders arrived, according to the amended report.

An autopsy of the child was scheduled for Monday.

Bryant was arrested Saturday for negligent manslaughter, aggravated death of a child and aggravated child abuse, according to the report.

Bryant's occupation listed on Sarasota County jail records is warehouse, and arraignment is listed for Aug. 1.

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