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Family: Baby with brain injury expected to return home, father still jailed

By WCTI Staff
Published On: Mar 10 2014 05:18:32 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 11 2014 06:20:53 PM CDT
EDGECOMBE COUNTY -

A 2-week-old baby girl, who deputies say suffered brain bleeding at the hands of her father, is expected to return home from the hospital in a few days, according to her family. Meanwhile, her father is still in jail on an attempted first-degree murder charge.

NewsChannel 12 talked with the grandparents of 2-week-old Violet Banks Tuesday. They said the baby is recovering at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. According to the grandparents, the baby has been getting minor seizures, but is breathing on her own and is expected to return to her Edgecombe County home in the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, the baby's father, 21-year-old Michael Lee Banks, remains in jail on charges of attempted first-degree murder and child abuse inflicting serious injury.

According to the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office, Banks injured his baby daughter by slamming her on a bed because Banks was angry with the baby's mother. The incident happened on Marlow Branch Road in Pinetops.

The baby became unresponsive and was rushed to the ER at Vidant Edgecombe Hospital early Saturday morning, before being transferred to Vidant Medical Center. Investigators said the baby had several bruises on her face and neck, and medical tests revealed the infant's brain had been bleeding in several locations.

"They actually asked me to leave the hospital room because I was so angry. I knew exactly what that meant as soon as they said there was swelling and bleeding," Violet's grandmother told NewsChannel 12.

According to the baby's grandparents, Banks confessed to the crime while at the hospital.

"We were shocked. But we were also just relieved that he confessed, that it wasn't going to be some long, drawn out thing. We didn't have to worry about our daughter being arrested," said Violet's grandmother.

The grandparents said their daughter had been dating Banks for some time. Violet has a twin brother.

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A father has been charged with attempted first-degree murder for allegedly causing his infant child to suffer brain bleed.

According to the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office, 21-year-old Michael Lee Banks is being jailed on a $885,000 secured bond. In addition to attempted first-degree murder, he is also charged with one count of child abuse inflicting serious injury.

Investigators said they received a call at about 3 a.m. on Saturday about a 2-week-old baby being unresponsive at the ER of Vidant Edgecombe Hospital.

The baby had several bruises on the face and neck, and medical tests revealed the infant's brain had been bleeding in several locations, deputies said. The injuries appeared to be the result of shaking.

The baby was taken to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, where tests showed the same results.

Deputies said they later interviewed the baby's parents, and learned that the infant's father, Banks, had slammed the child on a bed because the suspect was angry with the baby's mother. The incident happened on Marlow Branch Road in Pinetops.

The infant became unresponsive some time later and was rushed to the emergency room, according to investigators. There is no word on the baby's current condition.