BRAINERD – A 26-year-old Garrison man was criminally charged Monday, July 11 with shaking his 3-month-old daughter and causing near-fatal injuries.
Law enforcement responded to July 4th communication from Minnesota Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis regarding an infant admitted with significant injuries inconsistent with a report of the infant falling during a diaper change. According to the criminal complaint, the medical provider said the child suffered a near-fatal abusive head injury.
Law enforcement said the child was still being treated at Minnesota Children’s Hospital, would be on life support, and was unlikely to survive his injuries.
After law enforcement learned the injuries were not consistent with the trauma history provided, they questioned the father, Andrew Donald Erickson, about the inconsistencies in his story.
Erickson told hospital staff that the child fell about 3.5 feet onto a very thin carpet covering wood after changing him. During the July 5 interview, Erickson admitted that in trying to calm the baby, he made her bounce harder than he thought, according to the complaint.
Later in the interview, Erickson reportedly admitted he was bouncing her, his head snapped and he dropped her. He said he lifted her quickly and did not support her neck, which also could have resulted in injury, according to the report.
During a later reenactment with Erickson and law enforcement, according to the complaint, he admitted to between five and six head shakes before dropping the child. In a subsequent statement from Mirandized on July 8, Erickson admitted to shaking the child more times than he previously reported, and estimated it was more like nine or 10 times.
Erickson was charged with two felonies: one count of first-degree assault causing grievous bodily harm, with a maximum sentence of 20 years and a $30,000 fine; and one count of maliciously punishing a child with grievous bodily harm, with a maximum sentence of 10 years and a fine of $20,000.
Erickson was on probation for a felony felony criminal harassment as of 2021 and is scheduled to appear in Crow Wing County District Court for a probation violation hearing on July 14.