West Hartford

Father Charged in Infant's Death Faces Judge

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A West Hartford father is accused of causing the death of his newborn daughter when he dropped her Friday, but his attorney said it was a terrible accident.

Grant McAuslan, 34 was arrested and charged with manslaughter and risk of injury to a minor. His attorney said what happened Friday was a terribly tragic accident during a late night bottle feeding that doesn't warrant those charges.

Court documents state that the doctors who saw that baby girl as she passed away believe her injuries would be the result of an act of abuse.

"I would submit that the West Hartford police rushed to judgment in filing these charges against Grant without doing a full thorough and complete investigation," William Paetzold, McAuslan's attorney, said.

Outside Hartford Superior Court Monday, Paetzold stood alongside the mother of that baby and said his client shouldn't be charged.

McAuslan appeared in court Monday. In court documents, investigators said McAuslan and his wife told them that the baby was dropped as her father picked her up from a DockATot they had in their bedroom, and that they called 911 right away. The child was taken to Connecticut Children'sMedical Center where her condition deteriorated rapidly. She had multiple skull fractures, several hemorrhages and evidence of brain injury and swelling.

Doctors told police that they didn't believe the injuries were consistent with an accidental drop from a short distance.

Court documents also say that as investigators were preparing to leave the hospital, McAuslan came up to them and admitted that he had grabbed the baby out of bed with more force than he originally told them, and whipped around as he turned holding the child, causing her to drop harder than what might have been believed.

"Grant is a loving, caring and warm father, family, husband and family man.  He would never have done anything like this intentionally.  It was simply an awful accident," Paetzold said.

McAuslan is originally from Scotland and holds dual citizenship. The state argued he could be a potential flight risk. His attorney said he has bold of his client's passports and bond was set at $750,000.

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