For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office is announcing that a local woman has been found guilty on felony child abuse charges following a weeklong jury trial that ended late last week. The prosecution is the result of an incident that took place in December, 2015 where a 23 month-old boy sustained a major head injury causing permanent brain damage.
Lashae R. Gallon, 30, from Reno, was found guilty on one count of Child Abuse or Neglect, with Substantial Bodily or Mental Harm in Washoe County District Court. Gallon is set for sentencing on April 20, 2018 and faces up to 20 years in prison.
The case against Gallon began in early December, 2015, when the Reno Police Department and Child Protectives Services with the Washoe County Human Services Agency responded to a local hospital regarding a child who had sustained a life threatening head injury. Detectives began an investigation into the cause of the child’s injury and determined that Gallon and her romantic partner shared responsibility for the partner’s four children who ranged in age from four months to four years old.
On the date of the abuse, Gallon was taking care of the children alone when there was an incident in which Gallon claimed two of the children fell out of a crib onto a carpeted floor. Gallon claimed the children suffered only minor injuries and were cared for without incident, though the 23 month-old boy was described as behaving different than usual. The next day, the child appeared to suffer a seizure, at which point Gallon called 911 and took him to the hospital.
Medical tests revealed a serious brain bleed, which was described by medical professionals as being consistent with injuries sustained in a serious car accident not a fall from a crib. The child required emergency surgery in an effort to save his life and has suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the abuse. Based on contradictory statements about the incident from Gallon to officers and medical professionals, in addition to medical incompatibilities surrounding her implausible explanation and the circumstances of the injury, Gallon was arrested and this office filed formal criminal charges against her.
During trial, Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Michael Bolenbaker presented expert testimony from the brain surgeon who testified the head injury occurred within a few hours of the emergency surgery which was wholly inconsistent with the defendant’s statements to law enforcement. Additionally, DDA Bolenbaker presented expert testimony from Nevada’s only board certified child abuse pediatrician whose testimony concluded that the victim’s head injury was consistent with inflicted abusive head trauma.