Rock Hill father accused in infant daughter’s death: ‘My baby’s about to pass’

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comApril 4, 2014 

— Four hundred compressions to Kaidence Evans’ chest did not save her life.

By the time her family called for help, the 1-month-old girl was not breathing, according to a recording of the 911 call released to The Herald on Friday. Her grandfather placed his fingers on her chest and, at the instruction of a dispatcher, pushed. The 911 call took less than seven minutes.

At the same time, Quentin Evans, Kaidence’s father, called 911. Shouting, sobbing and nearly out of breath, he explained to a dispatcher that his daughter fell off his bed. She seemed fine. He fed her. He burped her. An hour later, she would not wake up.

“Can you please send an ambulance?” he asked screaming. “My baby’s about to pass ... my baby’s about to pass.”

Police in January charged Evans, 25, with homicide by child abuse. Officers were sent to a Wright Street home on Jan. 23 after they received calls about an unconscious infant who was not breathing. When police arrived, paramedics were trying to resuscitate the girl, who was born in December.

Kaidence died at Piedmont Medical Center. Evans, police said, was alone with the girl when she was injured. He shared custody with the girl’s mother, Kierra Banks, 22, of Chester.

Evans initially told police that he did not know what happened to the girl, authorities said two months ago. The girl had apparent injuries, police said, including a broken collarbone and bruising they considered consistent with shaken baby syndrome.

An autopsy was finished last month. After meeting with the girl’s family, York County Coroner Sabrina Gast released the results at The Herald’s request. Those results show that Kaidence died of head and chest trauma. The girl suffered from swelling on her brain, Gast said, and had several bruises on her body, the most significant of which was on her head. Still, those results, Gast said, do not give an absolute answer on how the girl suffered those injuries.

Evans remains jailed without bond at the York County Detention Center. He has no immediately scheduled court appearances, said Willy Thompson, deputy 16th Circuit solicitor.

Kaidence’s mother, Kierra Banks, on Friday said she was not allowed to see her baby for nearly two hours after she died. When she got to the hospital Jan. 23, she saw Evans lying on the floor “crying hysterically.” A hospital staff member told her Kaidence “didn’t make it” once her heart stopped.

Since charges were filed against Evans, Banks has said she does not believe he intentionally hurt Kaidence. She said most of her relatives believe Evans is directly responsible for the infant girl’s death.

“No one knows what happened, not even the coroners,” Banks said on Friday. “They can’t say he shook her, threw her on the floor. No one knows what happened but her, Quentin and God.”

Banks said she’s not “taking up for him,” but she denies accusations that Evans “belligerently” shook the girl. Banks said Jan. 23 was not the first time Evans was responsible for watching their daughter for a night.

“If he wanted to belligerently shake her and hurt her, he would’ve done that the first night she stayed” at his house, she said. “She’s not a crying child. She sleeps, eats. She plays. She doesn’t cry unless she needs her Pampers changed or she’s hungry.”

According to the 911 call, several members of Kaidence’s family were home, wailing and shouting in the background as the girl’s grandfather listened to instructions from a dispatcher on how to revive her. The Herald received the 911 recording on Friday several weeks after filing a Freedom of Information Act request. Parts of the call were redacted to omit names and addresses of family members.

The dispatcher told Kaidence’s grandfather to put his middle and index finger in the center of the girl’s chest and count to 100 as he performed compressions, pushing on the girl’s chest at least twice each second. He did four sets. None of them worked. The dispatcher encouraged him to keep going. After the fourth time, he said, “Wow, no response.”

“Let’s keep doing it, sir,” the dispatcher said. “Let’s not give up.”

Meanwhile, Evans also called 911. Nearly incoherent, he wept and asked for help, shouting that “my baby’s about to pass.” During the call, which lasted for a little more than two minutes, Evans explained that an hour earlier, he went to feed his daughter. She fell off his bed, which he said is low to the ground. He picked her up and “she was OK ... I picked her up and everything was OK,” according to the call. He gave her a bottle and burped her.

“I laid her back down ... and she didn’t wake up,” he said.

Kaidence’s grandfather continued performing CPR until he told the dispatcher that EMS had just arrived.

“Good luck, sir,” the dispatcher told him. “You did a great job.”

Jonathan McFadden •  803-329-4082 Rachel Southmayd contributed to this report

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