Man Faces Murder Charges After Originally Telling Police That Baby’s Fatal Injuries Were the Result of an Accidental Fall
In the 1990s, the movie Trainspotting and the book on which it is based scared countless teenagers out of trying drugs, especially heroin. By far the most disturbing part is where baby Dawn dies after all the adults around her, all of whom were under the influence of drugs, forgot to feed her. Last month, an even more disturbing sequence of events took place in Monroe County, Pennsylvania. The alleged actions of the adults involved before and after the death of two-month-old Reann Bacchus might be attributed to frustration, fear, and addiction; now Reann’s father has been charged with murder, and two other adults are facing charges for child endangerment. Here, our Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer explains what we know so far about the case.
The Rights and Obligations of Bystanders in Situations Involving Drugs or Child Abuse
You may have heard about people being arrested or convicted of crimes just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe your friend went to visit his cousin, whose roommate had a stash of ecstasy pills in a kitchen drawer, and when the police searched the place, they arrested everyone. These situations are possible, but Pennsylvania laws are set up to encourage people to get help when someone is in danger, and therefore there are some protections for bystanders. For example, Good Samaritan laws protect you from getting criminal charges when you call for help for a drug overdose victim, even if you are not sober when the police arrive or have drugs in your pocket.
Furthermore, the law encourages, and sometimes requires, bystanders to seek help for children in abusive situations. If you are officially in a caregiving position for the child, you can get in legal trouble to not reporting child abuse when you become aware of it.
In the News
Lamont Bacchus and Amanda Green were the parents of Reann Bacchus, who was born in January 2021. On March 19, the two of them injected drugs at their house with their friend Tony Kristiansen, and then Green and Kristiansen went into a bedroom to sleep, leaving Bacchus alone with the baby. Bacchus grew increasingly frustrated because the baby would not stop crying, and he eventually hit her head on the table. He then placed the unconscious baby on the couch and went out to get more drugs.
When Green and Kristiansen woke up, they found the baby unresponsive, but they hid their drugs before calling 911. The police arrived and determined that Reann had died from traumatic brain injury. Bacchus originally told police that Reann’s head injuries occurred because he tripped and fell while holding her, but he eventually admitted to intentionally injuring her. Bacchus has been charged with murder, while Green and Kristiansen face charges for child endangerment. All three are also facing drug charges.
Contact an Attorney for Help
A Pittsburgh violent crimes lawyer can help you if you are accused of intentionally injuring a child or knowingly placing a child in a dangerous situation. Contact the law offices of Gary E. Gerson about your case.