A Lexington woman pleaded not guilty Monday after being charged with child abuse when her daughter was taken to a local hospital with a severely swollen eye and other injuries, according to court documents.
Jennifer Saunders and her boyfriend, Dustin Watson, each were charged with first-degree criminal abuse last week.
Watson pleaded not guilty Friday. He was accused of shaking the 11-month-old, "causing retinal hemorrhaging," according to court documents. Saunders was charged because she allegedly failed to seek medical help for the child for about 20 hours.
The child, who was treated at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, also had frontal-lobe hemorrhaging and "several bruises about her body," documents said.
According to a warrant, Saunders, 22, initially told doctors and police the child fell off a bed while Saunders was at home folding laundry Jan. 31. She said the child's eye was "pink and swollen" but the injury got worse over time, prompting her to take the baby to the hospital.
However, police determined Saunders was at work that day, the document said. At 4:46 p.m., Watson, who was watching the baby, sent Saunders a text message photo that showed the child's left eye was severely bruised and swollen shut.
The infant also was vomiting every time she was fed, the document said.
"The photo that Ms. Saunders received prior to leaving work clearly shows that the infant's eye was already severely swollen and blue, contradicting her statement that it gradually got to the point of swelling shut," the warrant said.
Saunders apparently did not take the child to the hospital until the next morning, according to the warrant.
"She admitted that she was afraid to tell the truth that (Watson) was left to care for the child ... because the biological father of the child would be irate with her when he found out," it said.
A preliminary hearing for Saunders and Watson has been scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.