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Testimony Ends in Child Abuse Case

May 25, 1999|TRACY WILSON

Testimony ended Monday in the trial of a Simi Valley day-care provider charged with child abuse. Closing arguments are scheduled to begin this morning.

Margaret Major, 49, is accused of violently shaking an 11-month-old Simi Valley boy Sept. 24, 1997. Major told police that the boy let out a scream while she was changing his diaper, then went limp in her arms.

She called 911, and the child was rushed by ambulance to Simi Valley Hospital. Jack Read was treated for severe head injuries and almost died.

Now age 2 1/2, the boy is permanently brain damaged.

During Major's trial in Ventura County Superior Court, which began May 14, doctors who treated Jack offered differing testimony about what caused his injuries.

A neurologist who examined the boy at Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles told the jury that he was shaken.

But the emergency-room doctor at Simi Valley Hospital testified that Jack's head trauma was caused by a slip-and-fall accident the previous night in which he hit his head on a hardwood floor at his home.

Another doctor told jurors Friday that he believed Jack's injuries were the result of a massive stroke.

Major could face 11 years in prison if convicted of felony child abuse and inflicting great bodily injury to the child.

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