Poplar Bluff sitter charged in child's shaking death

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Amy Louise DavisDaily American Republic

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- A Poplar Bluff baby sitter was charged with involuntary manslaughter Friday after she allegedly shook a 6-month-old baby to death.

Amy Louise Davis, 23, is being held on $25,000 bond in the Butler County jail after being arrested Thursday.

According to a report by the Poplar Bluff Police Department, Davis called emergency personnel at 12:27 p.m. Thursday about a baby that was "pale and having trouble breathing."

Emergency workers took Starla Hollis, the infant daughter of William Elder of Naylor, Mo., and Heather Hollis of Neelyville, Mo., to Three Rivers Healthcare. Further exams revealed broken ribs and bruising. The baby was pronounced dead at 4 p.m. by emergency room staff.

During an interview with police detectives, Davis allegedly admitted to "shaking Baby Starla until she quit breathing," according to the report. Davis also allegedly told police that she was "aggravated" because her own three children were not behaving. When the baby started crying, Davis "lost her cool and shook Baby Starla until she quit breathing," police said.

According to the report, when Davis realized the baby was not breathing, she shook the baby a second time in hopes that the baby would start breathing again.

According to Butler County Coroner Larry Cotrell, an autopsy on Hollis was to be performed Friday.

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