Christina Boling, a 21-year-old West Virginia mom, was hit with a new trial date of February 16 at a hearing Monday on a child neglect charge stemming from a horrifying incident last year that left her 5-month-old baby boy blinded for life. Boling’s trial was scheduled to get underway Monday in the circuit court of Mercer County, but results of psychological testing on the young mom were not yet available, forcing the delay, according to a report in The Bluefield Daily Telegraph newspaper.
The father of Boling’s baby, 27-year-old Billy Allen White, has already been tried and last Thursday was convicted by a Mercer County jury on one count of child abuse with substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury due to the May 30, 2014.
White, who like Boling lived in Princeton, West Virginia, was accused of shaking little Corey White so hard that the infant boy — who according to testimony at the trial was a normal, healthy infant prior to the attack by his own dad — was left with brain damage due to bleeding on his brain, broken ribs and tearing in his retinas that has left little Corey permanently blind.
White was arrested in January of last year — seven months after he called 911 to report that his baby son had turned blue and stopped breathing. According to an earlier report in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Billy White told police that Corey had been ill “for a couple of weeks” and the boy’s injuries may have come from a play session that went wrong.
White claimed that he tossed Corey in the air playfully, but the baby hit his head “on a board.” He said he called police on May 30, 2014, after the baby vomited on himself and woke up screaming.
He admitted shaking the baby “a little,” supposedly to revive him, after the little boy passed out and his eyes rolled up into his head.
But a doctor who testified at White’s trial said the force required to tear the baby’s retinas and cause permanent brain damage, as suffered by the little boy, was equivalent to being in an auto accident in which the car rolls over.
The video below from The Doctors TV program explains the symptoms and causes of Shaken Baby Syndrome in greater detail. Between 1,000 and 3,000 children are victims of Shaken Baby Syndrome every year, according to the New York State Health Department. About 25 percent of those victims die as a result, and 80 percent of those who survive must live with permanent brain damage — like little Corey White.
Corey White was born into a troubled situation. Both Billy Allen White and Christina Boling reportedly suffer from drug addiction problems, causing the baby to be taken from them at birth and placed with a foster family by the state’s Child Protective Services.
Christina Boling eventually was granted custody of her baby son, but on the condition that little Corey never be left alone with his father.
But she apparently broke that condition when she began working night shifts cleaning rooms at a local motel.
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Boling underwent evaluation for Battered Women’s Syndrome in December. According to the FindLaw legal site, BWS is “a mental disorder that develops in victims of domestic violence as a result of serious, long-term abuse.”
“BWS is dangerous primarily because it leads to ‘learned helplessness’ – or psychological paralysis – where the victim becomes so depressed, defeated, and passive that she believes she is incapable of leaving the abusive situation,” according to the definition.
Corey has been adopted by a family member, Teresa Cecil, who said that though the little boy is now two years old, he has not yet started walking and has the speech abilities of a 4-month-old baby.
Billy White faces a prison sentence of between two and 10 years on his child abuse conviction in the shaken baby case. Christina Boling is scheduled to be treid on a count of child neglect resulting in serious injury.
[Featured Photos via Justice for Children Without Voices Facebook Page/West Virginia State Police]