Police: Girl beaten before falling from apartment balcony

pdonohue@beaufortgazette.comDecember 21, 2011 

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A 3-year-old Beaufort girl was severely beaten and possibly stabbed by her mother before being thrown from a balcony at an apartment complex Monday night, according to the Beaufort Police Department.

Authorities continued their investigation Wednesday into the attempted murder of the little girl, identified Wednesday as Dionna Hagood. Police discovered that the child was badly beaten before falling from the open balcony of a third-story stairwell at the Cross Creek Apartment Complex off Ambrose Run, said Deputy Police Chief Dale McDorman.

"The victim's mother, Shayla Bryan, ... admitted to assaulting her daughter prior to calling 911," McDorman said.

McDorman declined to elaborate Wednesday on what leads investigator to believe the child was stabbed before the fall, citing the department's ongoing investigation.

Bryan was charged Tuesday with attempted murder after authorities determined she intended to injure her child.

McDorman said Bryan's motive for assaulting the child remains unclear.

Hagood is hospitalized at the Medical University in Charleston after being found by authorities with injuries consistent with a fall, McDorman said.

Authorities described the child's injuries as "severe," but a hospital spokeswoman declined Wednesday to provide an update on her condition.

Bryan was being held Wednesday night at the Beaufort County Detention Center after being denied bond, according to the county's jail log.

Her arrest Tuesday was her first as an adult in Beaufort County, court records indicate.

If convicted, Bryan faces up to 30 years in prison, according to state law.

Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/ProtectServeBft.

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