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Local News

Mother charged with breaking baby’s skull remorseful

Shanquilla Shantell Garvey
Shanquilla Shantell Garvey

A young mother of five sobbed during her first appearance in court after her arrest for allegedly breaking her baby’s skull.

She also said she was sorry.

Shanquilla Shantell Garvey, 24, wept throughout her Thursday afternoon bond hearing, at times burying her face in her hands as she cried.

After Garvey apologized, the public defender assigned to her case, Chenoa Avery, warned her that she was being recorded and told her not to talk.

There is considerable doubt Garvey’s 8-month-old daughter will survive her injuries, Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Chris Messina said.

Garvey, who said she has lived in Joliet for the past two years, appeared at the hearing via a video feed broadcast from the Will County jail.

She was booked into custody at
7:45 p.m. Wednesday, a little more than five hours after Joliet police officers were called to the Bel-Air Motel on Plainfield Road to investigate a report of a baby who wasn’t breathing, Deputy Police Chief Al Roechner said.

The child was rushed from the near West Side motel to Presence St. Joseph Medical Center and then taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, said Roechner, who described her condition as “extremely critical” and said she suffered two skull fractures.

During Garvey’s bond hearing, Messina said the baby has since been taken to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Garvey and two other daughters, ages 2 and 3, who were with her in the motel room were taken from the Bel-Air to the police department and questioned, Roechner said.

Less than three hours later, Garvey was arrested on Class X charges of aggravated battery of a child and eventually was taken to the county jail.

If convicted, she faces up to 60 years in prison.

In 2012, when she was 18, Garvey was charged with possessing stolen checks. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 months conditional discharge, according to court records.

The year before, according to court records, she was found guilty of theft and fined $300.

Court records show Garvey previously lived in Chicago. Her address now is listed as the Bel-Air Motel.

When police questioned her, Garvey admitted to throwing her baby daughter against a motel room dresser, Messina said.

In addition to the two skull fractures, the infant suffered bleeding on her brain, a lacerated liver and a fractured clavicle, said Messina, who also said that some of the injuries appeared to be older.

The Department of Children and Family Services took custody of Garvey’s other two daughters who were with her when the police arrived, and they were to be examined to see if they also had suffered any abusive injuries, Roechner said.

The hearing made no mention of the whereabouts of Garvey’s other two children.

Messina asked Judge Art Smigielski to set Garvey’s bond at $5 million. Avery asked Garvey if she had any money or any friends or family with any money.

Garvey said she did not. No one in the courtroom’s gallery appeared to be present for her either.

Smigielski ordered Garvey to be held without bond.

“This baby was beaten, kicked and thrown against a dresser,” Smigielski said. “No bond.”

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