Starkenya Banks, a 20-year-old woman from the south side of Chicago, was accused in the shaking death of her 2-month-old daughter. She was ordered held on $1 million bail this morning, facing first-degree murder charges.
Chicago police and the Cook Couny medical examiner’s office said Banks’ daughter, Omaria Beckon, was found unresponsive at her home Thursday night. Omaria suffered from shaken baby syndrome (SBS), according to police. SBS is usually diagnosed from symptoms including subdural hematoma, retinal hemorrhage, and brain swelling, often with no visible sign of external trauma. It is often fatal, but even when the victim survives they can suffer severe brain damage resulting in lifelong disability.
In court, Banks told police she shook the baby “two or three times” to stop her from crying and then dropped the girl on a tile floor of the apartment, according to Assistant State’s Attorney William Hall. Banks claimed that she called for an ambulance when the child did not wake up for a feeding four hours later, Hall said.
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