Lexington man accused of abusing infant

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - (WKYT) - He’s accused of abusing an infant and on Tuesday, 26-year-old Matthew Byers appeared in Fayette County District Court to face those charges.

Intentionally harming an infant is an inconceivable crime but investigators say that's what landed Matthew Byers behind bars.

The arrest warrant for Byers states that a one-month-old child was seriously injured while under his care last December.

On December 17th, we're told the child's mother Maria Wirt went to bed earlier than Byers and left her daughter in his care.

Byers claims he was changing the baby's diaper when her hip made a popping sound but it wasn't until the next morning that the child was taken to UK Hospital where doctors concluded that the baby had suffered seven fractures in the arm and extremity areas.

The next morning, Wirt noticed her child was in substantial pain when her leg was moved and that she was swaddled unusually tighter than normal with her legs pushed up toward her chest.

When Wirt confronted Byers, he allegedly said that he'd heard a popping sound from the baby's hip as he changed her diaper and claimed he'd heard the noise several times before.

The arrest warrant states, “The child’s pediatrician saw the child on December 3rd, December 9th and December 16. According to Dr. Straub the child was negative for hip dysplasia and he has never heard a popping or clicking noise when manipulating the child’s extremities.”

Neighbors living near the couple on Burnette Avenue didn't wish to appear on camera but said they were shocked by the allegations of abuse. "The best case scenario is that it is an accident and that the baby is going to be okay," one neighbor told us on Tuesday morning.

June Campbell says she's related to the victim and heard what happened when watching WKYT.

“When I heard the news I was so devastated,” June Campbell told us at Fayette County District Court. “I want to know what's going on.”

Campbell says she wants to confirm that the man being charged is the same man who lives in the home on Burnette Avenue where the alleged incident took place. The incident resulted in Byers being charged with Criminal Abuse in the First Degree to a child under the age the 12.

“If this guy did this and my grandson is over in that house involved in this situation I need to get my grandson out of there immediately,” Campbell explained.

Criminal Abuse in the First Degree is a Class C felony and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Matthew Byers' next court date is set for April 17th. On Tuesday, the judge ordered that he have no contact with the victim in the meantime.

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