A 25-year-old Melrose man is in jail, accused of abusing his baby daughter after a medical examination last week revealed the infant had numerous broken bones. Phillip Holmes is charged with child abuse resulting in great bodily harm, a first-degree felony. He is being held at the Curry County Adult Detention Center on a $25,000 bond, jail officials said.
A doctor told the officer based on X-rays she had taken, the only possible explanation was that the child’s arms had been grabbed “with a lot of force” and “torqued” until they broke. The doctor also told the officer she found skull fractures, bleeding beneath the scalp and broken ribs that had been healing for around three weeks, a police report said.
Additionally, the doctor told the officer she found evidence that indicated the baby was grabbed by the neck, causing the neck bones to stretch.
When the officer spoke to family waiting in the hospital lobby, Holmes’ son volunteered he knew how the baby got hurt and said his “dad chokes
Police said a family member silenced the child before he said anything further and told police they couldn’t use his statement because he was an “unreliable source.” Police said during an interview with the Melrose police chief and a Clovis detective, Holmes initially said the baby had fallen off a bed and was mauled by a dog
. Police noted they found no injuries to the child that would be consistent with being mauled by a dog.
Holmes later said he was in the kitchen holding the baby while her mother was outside and accidentally dropped the child
, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday in Curry County Magistrate Court.
The child’s mother said she called 911 after she came inside and tried to feed her but became worried when the baby’s arms were unable to hold the bottle and she cried when her arms were touched
Holmes told police several times he didn’t mean to hurt the baby and that it was an accident, records show.
Holmes faces a March 26 preliminary hearing in Magistrate Court. According to New Mexico statute, a first-degree felony is punishable by up to 18 years imprisonment.