CHESTER An Iraq War veteran whose military service ended last year has been charged in the death of a Chester County baby girl who died Friday after suffering injuries while in his care this week.
Jeffrey Todd Bradley, 27, has been charged with homicide by child abuse, according to Chester County deputies. He is being held at the Chester County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.
Paramedics on Wednesday were called to 1968 Hardin Strait Road for injuries to an 11-month-old baby girl, deputies said. No one was home when they arrived.
Sometime later, sheriffs deputies and the state Department of Social Services received a call from Levine Childrens Hospital in Charlotte where the baby had been taken.
Bradley is the childs mothers boyfriend, said Sheriffs Office Major Mary Anne Tolbert. He was the only adult at the home with the baby when the incident happened.
The baby suffered injuries while in Bradleys care, according to a release from the sheriffs office.
Deputies did not release specifics on the childs injuries or information about Bradleys involvement, only saying that the baby girl suffered from trauma. They would not say what time Wednesday they received word from the hospital.
The baby died at 3:42 p.m. Friday after suffering from head injuries, deputies said.
Chester County Coroner Terry Tinker said he is awaiting the return of the girls body to the county. Her name has not been released.
Homicide by child abuse is a felony in South Carolina. It carries a sentence of 20 years to life in prison.
Bradley, a Pickens County native, served in the U.S. Army as a private and combat engineer from July 2003 to May last year, said Master Sgt. Michael Chann.
He was deployed to Afghanistan for a year in 2005. He served in Iraq from 2008 until 2009 before he was stationed at Fort Riley in north central Kansas, records show.
During his service, he received at least 10 awards or commendations, including an Afghanistan campaign medal, the Global War on Terrorism service medal, the Army Service ribbon and an overseas service ribbon.
Court records do not indicate if he has a previous criminal history in Chester or Pickens counties.
Prosecution will be by the Sixth Circuit Solicitors Office. The office has another case of a veteran accused of homicide by child abuse pending.
In March, Phillip Bryan Gleason, a former Winthrop University student and Purple Heart recipient, was accused of beating his girlfriend's 5-year-old daughter at a Lancaster home.
He was charged with homicide by child abuse after Soren Chilson died March 5 of internal bleeding.
Soren had been in Gleason's care prior to her death. An autopsy showed bruises on all four limbs, her feet, chest and back, as well as several wounds to her head and face.
Gleason was released on a $150,000 bond and is required to wear a GPS monitor.
Overcoming 'the stigma'
There are several services to help veterans acclimate to civilian life, especially those dealing with post-war stresses, said Command Staff Sgt. Maj. Joe Medlin with York County Veterans Affairs.
Some veterans might be reluctant to take advantage of those services because of a stigma that veterans are mentally unstable, Medlin said.
"It's enough people think we're crazy," he said. "When a veteran commits a crime, it's always pointed out."
Medlin said his office currently serves about 23,000 veterans in York County. He said that more non-veterans commit crimes than soldiers.
"There are many success stories who don't commit crimes, who don't shoot people...who do their jobs, go on to be successful," he said.
Jonathan McFadden 803-329-4082
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