Caregiver accused of abusing Ionia baby enters plea

Thomas, Ionia, baby abuse
Thomas, who sustained skull fractures after allegedly being thrown by his babysitter. (Undated courtesy photo)

IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — A woman accused of causing serious head injuries to an infant she was watching at an Ionia home is likely heading to prison.

Autumn Skuse pleaded guilty to first-degree child abuse in court last week. Police previously told 24 Hour News 8 she could get life in prison if convicted of the charge.

Mug shot of Autumn Skuse.
Mug shot of Autumn Skuse.

Skuse was arrested in August after she allegedly admitted to throwing 8-month-old Thomas, according to a GoFundMe page for the child.

Skuse originally told the infant’s mom that the boy fell back and hit his head. But doctors found Thomas had a broken leg and injured ribs in addition to three skull fractures, according to Thomas’ mom, Rachel Pierson.

Ionia police said an investigation turned up new information about the infant’s injuries. Pierson said Skuse told her on Facebook “I have some mental health issues and anger issues and that day i snapped and dropped him on the floor.”

Thomas was treated for a brain bleed that caused seizures, but has since returned home, according to a GoFundMe page to help cover his medical costs. He was also undergoing physical and occupational therapy in light of his injuries.

Skuse is expected back in court for sentencing later this spring.