Foster parent scheduled for court in shaking baby case

Gina Smith News Reporter 

The Sallisaw woman accused of shaking a three-month old baby last month is scheduled for court next Wednesday.
On March 6, Sandra J. Bussey, 62, was charged with one felony count of child abuse by injury after she allegedly admitted to investigators that she shook a three-month-old little boy in her care in mid-February.
According to court documents the child was in foster care through the Sequoyah County Department of Human Services. His foster parents had to go out of town on Feb. 14 so he was placed in Bussey’s home until they could return on Feb.20.
Sallisaw Detective Billy Oliver said he was contacted by a DHS worker on Feb. 25 about the case.
He said in his report that while the regular foster parents were out of town they received text messages from Bussey that he was fussy and running a fever. He said when they picked him up from Bussey’s care they took him for a supervised visit with his biological parents who noticed his soft spot was bulging.
The regular foster parents reportedly said the baby seemed sick but didn’t immediately notice his injuries. Oliver said that by 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 23 the health of the baby had deteriorated and his soft spot was noticeably bulging.
His regular foster parents took him to the emergency room at Sequoyah Memorial Hospital and he was later transferred to Saint Francis Children’s Hospital in Tulsa.
According to the report the baby suffered a fractured skull and about 300 retinal hemorrhages in both eyes because of the abuse.
“The only reasonable explanation would be a non-accidental injury with a shaking mechanism present,” Oliver quoted from the medical report in his affidavit.
Oliver said he interviewed Bussey who allegedly admitted that the injuries were her fault.
“Bussey went on to say she would have to get another job, because she would never be a foster parent again,” Oliver said.
He said that Bussey explained that she didn’t have much experience with a newborn and was very stressed when she kept the baby. She allegedly said that on Feb. 19 he wouldn’t stop crying so she shook him and put him back in his bed.  She allegedly said that after she shook the baby she noticed he began whimpering more than crying.
Oliver said when asked about the facture on the baby’s head Bussey said she hit his head on the handle of the car seat.
In her written statement to Oliver about the incident Bussey reportedly apologized for any injuries to the baby or any other children that have been entrusted to her care.
On March 12, Special District Judge Larry Langley entered a plea of not guilty on Bussey’s behalf. She is scheduled to appear before him at 9 a.m., April 9 for her next court appearance.