RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Raleigh mom charged after officials said she injuried her 5-week-old daughter, causing a skull fracture with bleeding on the child’s brain, made her first court appearance Friday and denied any wrongdoing.
Lauren Nicole Schmidt, 27, with a listed address of 308 Buck Jones Road, was arrested on Aug. 18 and faces one charge of felony intentional child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury, according to an arrest warrant.
The charge stems from an incident that occurred on Aug. 15, the warrant shows.
Schmidt made her first court appearance on Friday afternoon with her left arm in a sling, an arm prosecutors said she broke in the hospital emergency room after she became combative while her 5-week-old daughter Grace was being examined.
Despite repeated warnings by the judge that she shouldn’t say anything and exercise the right of silence, Schmidt launched into a lengthy denial.
“I did not hurt my child,” she said. “I have a 4-year-old son and he’s never been injured. I don’t know what to do. I’ve never been in trouble. I’ve never touched my child, she’s my angel. I don’t know what to do.”
Schmidt was originally placed in the Wake County Detention Center under a $500,000 secured bond, but the judge raised it to $2 million after Wake County Assistant District Attorney Matt Lively argued the bond was too low.
“This is a significant brain injury as well as a substantial skull fracture,” he said. “I think that the bond in this case is too low given the seriousness of the assault. This could potentially become a case where the child dies and could be a murder case rather than a felony child abuse case.”
Schmidt audibly gasped and nearly collapsed after Lively said that her daughter could die.
Lively also claimed that Schmidt tried to get a witness to change her story.
Authorities released a 911 call on Friday that was made by a worker in the emergency room at Rex Hospital on Thursday at 3:45 a.m.
“This is Rex Hospital. We’ve got a five week old baby that we believe is a shaken baby syndrome. We have the mom on scene. We had to take her out of the room because she’s screaming and hysterical,” the caller says.
The 911 operator told the caller officers were on the way. Schmidt was arrested later in the day.