Cameron County dad jailed for baby's fractured skull, ribs

Cameron County Sheriff's Department deputies arrested 19-year-old Terry Eisley Shamlin on over the weekend on two counts of injury to a child.

A Port Isabel area father is behind bars after his 4-month-old daughter was hospitalized for a fractured skull and fractured ribs.

Cameron County Sheriff's Department deputies arrested 19-year-old Terry Eisley Shamlin on over the weekend on two counts of injury to a child.

Shamlin allegedly admitted to at least one incident where he squeezed the baby's ribs out of frustration with her.

The young father also admitted to another incident where his daughter hit her head on a door frame and he didn't immediately take her to the doctor.

Shamlin appeared before Cameron County Magistrate Judge Luis Saenz on Saturday morning where he was issued $150,000 dollars in bonds.

The 19-year-old father remains in custody at the Cameron County Jail.


Court records released Tuesday show that the investigation all started on May 8th when deputies were called to the Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen.

Doctors reported that the 4-month-old baby had a fractured skull with cuts, bruising and swelling to the head as well as fractured ribs.

The hospital reported that the same baby had been brought to the emergency room back in April bleeding from the ears with five fracture ribs and bruising and swelling to the face.

Court records show that a Child Protective Services investigation into the April incident "proved inconclusive" and was closed.

Deputies learned that the baby girl's day care center pointed out the injuries to Shamlin and the girl's mother on May 8th prompting them to take the baby girl to the hospital.

The two parents tried to blame the day care center but an investigation by deputies revealed otherwise.


Child Protective Service removed the baby girl and her sister from the custody of their parents following the May 8th incident.

Shamlin came to the Cameron County Sheriff's Department on Friday where he allegedly told deputies what really happened in a videotaped interview.

The 19-year-old father said the girl's mother often made him give their daughter the bottle when the baby wakes up in the middle of the night.

Shamlin, who is originally from the East Texas town of Malakoff, said he sometimes woke up frustrated and tired.

"I grabbed her frustrated and hard, by that I mean applying pressure," Shamlin said. "Sometimes I grab her over the arms and sometimes I grab her under the arms by the arm pits around her rib cage."

Shamlin told deputies that he tripped on a pile of clothes on the floor and hit the baby's head on a door frame on the night of May 7th.

He did not immediately seek medical attention for the baby girl.

Instead, he took the girl and her sister to day care while their mother went to work on South Padre Island the next morning.

Shamlin believes the girls injuries were from the door frame incident and from when he grabs her too hard.

"I feel that I have anger bottled up inside and it causes me to get frustrated and take it out on the babies without (knowing) it," Shamlin told deputies.