In explaining how her 4-month-old son died from a fractured skull and other injuries, police say his mother, 20-year-old Rachel Bryan, said she "plopped" him "meanly" down on the bed.
"When I get mad, my bipolar comes out," she told police.
Bryan was charged today with second-degree murder in the death of her son, who had survived for five days on life support before ultimately succumbing to his injuries.
According to documents filed in Thurston County Superior Court, Bryan was allegedly watching her son at her stepfather's trailer in Centralia on Sept. 21 when he began crying incessantly. The boy's crying supposedly angered his mom, and while Bryan's stepfather was working outside, she threw him down roughly onto the bed.
Bryan described the motion to police:
Rachel described herself standing at the edge of the bed. She motioned as if she was pulling the child onto her shoulder sharply. She then motioned forward, as if she was driving the child into the bed with her weight. She also described how her son bounced after she "plopped" him on the bed.
After "plopping" him, Bryan supposedly went outside to talk with her stepfather for about 15 minutes and then felt "guilt," so she went back in to check on the child and found him "stiff" and unresponsive, so she called 911.
Bryan's original story was that the baby had fallen off the bed. But that explanation didn't match the injuries.
At the hospital, doctors found significant bruising on the child, some of it much older than the fatal injuries he received that day. Child Protective Services apparently already had an open case on the mom and was considering removing the child from her home.
After admitting that her fell-off-the-bed story wasn't true, Bryan supposedly told police that she had often abused her son, but that she can't control herself because of her bipolar disorder.
She explained that the baby was crying uncontrollably that day and she got angry at him. "I wasn't very nice to my son," she apparently told police during an interview. "I plopped him too hard. I didn't realize 'cause it wasn't me. I get mad and [am] a completely different person."
Bryan is being held on $500,000 bail and could be looking at life in prison if convicted.
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