Fort Worth

Woman accused of not seeking medical care for newborn before he died

Shaquita Galloway was charged Thursday with injury to a child by omission, a first-degree felony.
Shaquita Galloway was charged Thursday with injury to a child by omission, a first-degree felony. Courtesy

A 26-year-old Fort Worth woman has been jailed, accused of not seeking medical care for a baby boy who died after she gave birth to him at home in 2013.

Shaquita Galloway hid the newborn under the bathroom sink after he stopped breathing, investigators say.

The baby’s body was discovered the next day after Galloway was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital for bleeding and hospital staff realized she had recently given birth to a full-term baby and called police.

At the house, investigators found documents indicating she had medical training.

Galloway was charged Thursday with injury to a child by omission, a first-degree felony, court records show.

“The child died due to what is believed to be a lack of necessary medical care,” said Sgt. Marc Povero, a police spokesman.

The case was originally assigned to Crimes Against Children unit Detective Dennis Hutchins, but an arrest was never made.

Hutchins was fired in July when investigators uncovered evidence that he mishandled multiple child abuse investigations, including not making arrests when probable cause existed, failing to file cases for prosecution and failing to interview witnesses.

Hutchins has appealed his firing. His attorney has argued that Hutchins had “hit a point of burnout” and was overwhelmed by a crushing caseload in an understaffed unit.

The department created a task force to help conduct an in-depth audit of Hutchins’ cases during his 14 years in the Crimes Against Children unit.

Galloway’s case was among those reviewed by the task force.

Detective J.C. Williams obtained an arrest warrant for Galloway on Sept. 29.

She was arrested by fugitive officers Tuesday and remained in the Mansfield Jail on Thursday, with bail set at $5,000.

Court records did not indicate whether she had obtained a defense attorney.

Locked in the bathroom

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, a friend of Galloway’s told officers summoned to JPS on April 17, 2013, that she and her family ran a Baptist church rescue mission and that they had taken in Galloway seven years earlier to give her a home.

During the previous evening, the woman told the officer, Galloway had locked herself in the bathroom for about five hours.

A 9-year-old boy in the house reported hearing a baby crying inside the bathroom, according to the affidavit, which was written by Williams.

When Galloway eventually emerged, the friend saw that there was blood in the bathroom, that the shower curtain was on the floor and that the toilet seat had been removed. Galloway was taken to the hospital after the friend saw that she was bleeding, the affidavit states.

When questioned by police, Galloway repeatedly denied that she had been pregnant or had given birth.

Fearing that a newborn might be in need of immediate medical attention, Fort Worth officers entered the house in the 900 block of East Annie Street where Galloway had been living.

They found the newborn boy’s body under the sink in the bathroom.

More questioning

When questioned again by Hutchins, Detective P.A. Delano and a Child Protective Services investigator, Galloway repeated that she had not given birth or been pregnant.

However, later she admitted to delivering the boy in the bathroom, the affidavit stated.

Galloway told the investigators that the baby cried briefly and was breathing when she laid him on the floor so that she could shower.

When she emerged from the shower, she said, the baby had stopped breathing so she covered him with a bloody towel and placed him under the sink.

“When asked why she didn’t tell anyone that she was pregnant or that she had a baby,” Galloway said that she was afraid of getting kicked out of her house, the affidavit stated.

Galloway denied harming her baby but also said she did nothing to help him live, it said. She also denied knowing CPR, the affidavit stated.

She acknowledged to police that she was aware of the Baby Moses law that would have allowed her to hand over the baby at locations such as a fire station, the affidavit stated.

A search of the East Annie Street residence revealed that Galloway had received a medical assistant diploma in December 2011 from Kaplan College.

Paperwork from Kaplan College showed she had 3.29 grade point average, perfect attendance and was certified in CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator, the affidavit stated.

Deanna Boyd: 817-390-7655, @deannaboyd