With her sister's arms wrapped around her for support, a mother on Thursday asked a judge to set a high bail for the man accused of leaving her 2-month-old son brain damaged.
Damonte Jamon Seabrook, 29, of Pine Field Court, is being held at the Charleston County jail charged with infliction of great bodily injury upon a child. Magistrate Linda Lombard set bail at $500,000 on the charge.
Seabrook had an apparent history of violence prior to his Wednesday arrest, Lombard said while considering his bail.
He was charged with criminal domestic violence three times beginning in 2005, State Law Enforcement Division records show. His latest arrest on the charge occurred last month in Charleston, according to SLED records.
The infant's mother Courtney Washington told Lombard she struggled knowing her son was in pain.
"Nobody can even imagine the feeling if it never happened to them," Washington said through her tears. "I'm very hurt by this situation. He's only 2 months old. It's not right."
North Charleston police determined early on that the injuries to the infant, identified by family as Legend Jamon Seabrook, appeared "suspicious."
An arrest affidavit for Seabrook stated that the child is suffering from head trauma, a skull fracture and intracranial hemorrhages.
The child was on a ventilator at Medical University Hospital with signs of significant brain damage and bruising to his shoulders and thighs, according to the document. The bruising, detectives wrote, were consistent with an infant being grabbed.
The severity of the injuries didn't correlate with Seabrook's version of events, police said.
A call to 911 drew authorities to the father's apartment on Pine Field Court.
"Come back man. Please come back. L.J., wake up," a man can be heard on the tape saying, his voice heavy with desperation as though wiling the child to take a breath.
In a second call, Seabrook's brother, Tyquan Seabrook, said that the child was kicking and struggling to breathe. A man could be heard shouting for the child to wake up throughout the call.
The tape came to an end as paramedics arrived.
First responders found the child lying naked on a couch with no apparent vital signs, according to North Charleston police. When questioned by investigators, Seabrook alleged that his son started coughing during a sponge bath in the living room.
The father then picked up the baby and bounced him to help clear his throat, he told police. The wet infant slipped out of his grasp, Seabrook reported, and onto the hard kitchen floor. The baby stopped breathing on impact, prompting the father to attempt CPR, he said. The infant coughed blood and milk onto the father's shirt, then stopped breathing for a second time, he reported.
Seabrook's brother told a similar story to investigators, adding that he heard the child crying for at least 30 minutes prior to the incident. The brother walked into the living room after the child fell silent. That's when he saw Legend lying limp in his father's hands, according to the affidavit.
"Come back," he reported hearing Seabrook say to the child. "Come back."
The brother's story varied, however, when investigators noticed a blue onesie that was soaked with water.
The item was wet, the brother reported, because the father placed the clothed baby in the shower in an attempt to revive him.
While talking with reporters after Thursday's bond hearing, Washington said she didn't believe her son was injured accidentally.
"I'm just asking for prayers and support," Washington said after declining to discuss the specifics of the case.
Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.
Notice about comments:
The Post and Courier is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point.