Bridwell accused of shaking five-month old daughter, other crimes


Marionville man also faces charges regarding relationship with baby’s mother; bond hearing set for Jan. 18
A Marionville man was arrested after he was accused of shaking his five-month-old daughter and sexually abusing the girl’s mother. Zachary Bridwell, 23, faces charges of first degree assault-special victim; abuse or neglect of a child-serious emotional or physical injury; sexual exploitation of a minor and second degree statutory rape.
According to the probable cause statement in the case, Aurora-Marionville police officers were notified on Wednesday, Jan. 3, about a case of suspected child abuse. Bridwell’s five-month old daughter was admitted to Mercy Hospital in Springfield with suspicious bruising to the head and body, and emergency surgery was performed to relieve a subdural hematoma in the child’s head. Medical professionals believed the child suffered from Shaken Baby Syndrome and other physical abuse. The baby also suffered a stroke due to her injuries.
An Aurora-Marionville Police Department officer who investigated the case reported that the infant girl was on a ventilator and considered to be in critical condition. The officer also reviewed photos of the baby’s injuries taken by medical staff and determined she had “bruises on her head, neck, jaw, ribs and legs in various stages of healing.” He also said the bruises on the baby’s head and face were “consistent with a handprint and fingertips.” The officer reported that Bridwell told medical staff that the bruises occurred when he “saved the baby from choking,” and one of the bruises on her forehead occurred when she “hit herself with a pacifier.”
Bridwell admits wrongdoing
Bridwell was arrested on the evening of Jan. 3 and taken to the Aurora-Marionville PD. In a post-Miranda interview, he admitted to having an ongoing sexual relationship with the baby’s mother, who was 15, and also recording the crime.
The officer reported that Bridwell admitted to abusing the baby on several occasions, stating that he confessed that he “regularly dropped the baby, and on one occasion, he intentionally slammed her down in her crib.”
Bridwell also allegedly admitted to going to bed drunk on Jan. 1 and waking up around 2 a.m. on Jan. 2 and heard the baby crying. The officer said he admitted to shaking the baby several times. The officer said he asked Bridwell why he committed the crime and said Bridwell told him that he “got a spurt of blood rage.” He also said he didn’t want to kill the child, only hurt her.
Bridwell, the officer said, also described himself as being “possessed” while he shook the child and said he felt like a “monster.”
Bridwell appeared in court on Monday, Jan. 8, where he waived arraignment. He is next scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, Jan. 18 for a bond hearing.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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