Janet Barber

Grove Sun

JAY — A Kansas man has been accused in the shaking death of a two-year-old infant.

Robert L. Dry, 35, of Kansas has been arrested after being accused of shaking and spanking the infant when she refused to stop crying and causing her death.

Emergency services received a call on August 31 from the child’s mother, Mary Bartleson, stating that her daughter was not breathing.

Cherokee Nation Emergency services based in Oaks, along with a deputy from the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department responded to find that the child was not breathing and unresponsive.

She was transported by Air Evac to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa.

Dry was placed under arrest on unrelated outstanding arrest warrants issued from the town of Kansas and transported to the Delaware County Jail where he remains.

The child was in the care of Dry while the mother took her other child to school.

In a statement given the investigator, he claims he was upset with the girl when she began crying and wouldn’t stop. He said he picked her up by her arms, she vomited on his upper body and he shook her and told her to stop crying. When she refused to stop, he became even angrier and shook her again, violently, until she stopped crying. He said he laid her down on the bed on her stomach with her drinking cup and went to take a shower.

Hospital officials in Tulsa identified the child as a victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome and had suffered severe cerebral edema due to Dry’s actions. The baby was pronounced dead at 2:50 p.m. on September 1.

The case is still under investigation by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation along with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Investigators have asked that first degree murder charges be filed against the accused.

“My child abuse investigator and investigators in my department worked non-stop to get the case put together for prosecutors,” said Delaware County Sheriff Jay Blackfox. “I also appreciate the efforts of the OSBI in this tragedy.”