Wyatt

Shaken until his head went ‘between his shoulder blades’: Mom of abused baby pushes to keep violent ex behind bars

Despite a few minor acid reflux issues, Shelby Hill’s son Wyatt was born healthy in January 2016; she said he was a happy baby who radiated joy. Eight months later, Wyatt was left incapacitated for life after Shelby’s former boyfriend shook him to near death.

Although the convicted baby shaker is now serving eight years in prison, a chance at parole is looming in the near distance. 

I was dating a guy named Bobby Rushing,” Shelby explained to CrimeOnline. “My son Wyatt was a very happy baby, rarely cried and loved cuddling just like he still does today. The only health issues he had was some reflux issues which had been resolved in July by putting him on the right type of formula.”

On September 20, 2016, when Wyatt was a healthy and thriving 8-month-old, Rushing, who was watching the baby that afternoon when Shelby took a quick shower, shook the baby to the point he fell limp and unconscious.

“I wasn’t in the shower but for 5 minutes when Bobby Rushing came in the door and said something is wrong with Wyatt and that he had dropped him,” Shelby said. “He was holding Wyatt out and my first thought was his neck was broke. He had no head control, was limp feeling and was doing some very strange breathing.”

Shelby rushed her son to the hospital. Doctors told her Wyatt was injured due to “non-accidental” trauma. The injuries were so traumatic that it left Wyatt blind and unable to talk or walk. He’ll have to be fed through a feeding tube indefinitely and live with serious health issues for life. 

 

[Shelby, Wyatt and family Photo: Family Provided]
Shelby told CrimeOnline it’s a miracle her little boy is alive today. Doctors initially said Wyatt would likely never recover and probably wouldn’t survive.

Authorities who investigated the incident determined there was enough evidence to charge Rushing. Madisonville Police arrested Rushing in October 2016 and charged him with assault.

Nearly two years later, in April 2018, Rushing was sentenced to eight years in prison for shaking the little boy so violently that, according to Shelby, it left him with his head “between his shoulder blades.”  Shelby said Rushing initially pleaded not guilty and blamed her, insisting that she shook her son on the way to hospital while trying to revive him. Those allegations were proven false. 

Rushing later took a plea deal and was convicted of second-degree assault. He claimed the incident was an accident and expressed his sorrow for the pain caused to the boy.

“It was a terrible, terrible accident. And, I really do, from my heart, wish the best for that child, I wouldn’t hurt nobody’s child, your Honor,” Bobby Rushing told the judge during the trial, according to NBC. 

Bobby Rushing [Police Handout]
Regardless, Shelby and her family are fighting for justice, and hope to keep Rushing behind bars. Wyatt’s grandmother started a petition via Change.org, in hopes that enough signatures will convince the parole board that Rushing shouldn’t be given early release. 

Petition: Keep Bobby Rushing in Prison

Meanwhile, Shelby said although she forgave Rushing for her own mental healthy, she’ll never forget what he did to her son.

“Wyatt can’t walk or talk and is in a wheelchair. He can’t play and run with his siblings. He is visually impaired and has a feeding tube. He has several health issues and development delays all caused from Bobby rushing shaking him,” Shelby added.

“His abuser should have to serve a lifetime like Wyatt and our family will.”

[Feature Photo: Wyatt/Family Handout]