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East Bremerton child dies following alleged abuse
A 26-year-old East Bremerton man is scheduled to be charged with second-degree murder this afternoon after allegedly assaulting his fiancée's 2-year-old son, who later died as a result of his injuries, according to the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office.
Jimmie J. Wright III was arrested and booked into jail for first-degree child assault Monday and the boy died Tuesday night at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma.
A Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue medic unit responded to a residence in the Cottage Bay Apartments, located at 2500 NE McWilliams Road in East Bremerton, shortly after 1 p.m. Monday when Wright called 911 to report his 25-year-old fiancée's son possibly suffered a seizure, according to court documents.
The boy was unresponsive when medics arrived. He was transported to Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton in critical condition with a severe head injury and eventually taken to Mary Bridge Children's Hospital.
A sheriff's deputy discovered the same child fell out of a second-story window about a week-and-a-half earlier, but the incident was never reported to law enforcement or medics. Detectives later learned the boy's mother took him to Harrison and told emergency room staff he had fallen from playground equipment, according to court documents.
Wright told detectives the boy was looking through his personal belongings on a nightstand in the master bedroom. He startled the boy when he entered the room and the child fell backwards, striking his back and head on the nightstand, according to court documents.
Wright told detectives the boy was unresponsive, stopped breathing and began to foam at the mouth. He carried the boy into the living room and performed CPR. He then called the boy's mother and 911.
Mary Bridge doctors said the boy's injuries could not have been sustained by striking a nightstand. Physicians suspected the child had received a blow to the head, according to court documents.
One doctor said, "Had the child been riding unrestrained in the backseat of a vehicle that was involved in a head-on collision, causing the child to fly through the front windshield headfirst, he would have sustained a less serious injury than he had received," according to court documents.
Doctors also said the boy's fall from the window could not have caused the brain injury. There also appeared to be evidence of past abuse to the boy's body.
Wright told detectives he spanked the boy July 17, bruising his right hip.
He eventually told detectives the boy did not fall into the nightstand. He said he found the boy playing with the items on his nightstand, picked him up for two hands and told him to leave his things alone, according to court documents. He then "slammed" the boy onto the bed five to six times, bouncing him two to three feet off the bed the last time. The boy then went stiff, so Wright stood him up and the boy collapsed.
At the time of the incident, Wright was watching five children, all under age 5, in the apartment. Three of the children were his from a previous relationship and two were his fiancée's children, also from a previous relationship, according to Deputy Scott Wilson, KCSO spokesman.
Deputies and Child Protective Services case workers removed the four remaining children from the apartment Monday night. They have been placed in temporary foster homes, Wilson said.
Wright has a handful of domestic violence arrests, including fourth-degree assault.
"There's a number of arrests," Wilson said. "I think it's safe to say he has a past history of domestic violence."
Detectives continue to investigate the incident.