Father Charged with Aggravated Assault on 3-Month-Old Infant

Father facing multiple charges in Merritt Island, Florida.
Father facing multiple charges in Merritt Island, Florida.

MERRITT ISLAND – Andrew William Shelley, 21, of Merritt Island is charged with Aggravated Child Abuse as Aggravated Assault, Child Neglect with Great Bodily Harm – Aggravated Assault on his infant child.

On December 12, 2018, Shelley became angry with his daughter because she was crying. Shelley forcibly shook the child and threw her into her bassinet, causing her to strike her head on the metal frame. The child became unresponsive and was not able to be aroused until 7:00 pm when she briefly took her bottle and went back to sleep, according to the affidavit.

Shelley failed to summon medical assistance because he was “scared.” He left for work without notifying anyone of the infant child’s condition. The child was discovered having seizures upon the arrival of the mother getting home from work.

The infant was transported to the nearest hospital and then life-flighted to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando. Subsequent examination revealed the child sustained a brain bleed, two skull fractures, and broken ribs. It was also discovered the child had an old “brain bleed” and an additional healing rib fracture.

Shelley made a sworn noncustodial statement advising he was responsible for all the child’s injuries, including the previous healing injuries. He explained that the prior rib fracture occurred approximately one month ago when he squeezed the infant between his forearm and chest when she was crying, and he became angry and frustrated.

He added that the healing head injury was a result of him “dropping” her against the kitchen cabinet/counter when he was frustrated and trying to make her a bottle.

The mother, Melissa Michelle Burt, 32, was arrest on December 19, 2018, and charged with Child Neglect with Great Bodily Harm-Aggravated Assault.

In the subsequent continued investigation, it was determined Burt, had knowledge Shelley was inflicting harm upon the child and failed to report or prevent him from having unmonitored access to the infant.

The investigation revealed that Burt sent several text messages to Shelley ranging from November until the most recent event (December 3, 2018) that confirmed her knowledge. She sent a message stating “no bruises today right?” And one in which she asked “Is her head ok,” the affidavit stated.

Prior to being arrested Burt posed with the baby and posted pictures on Facebook. Someone created a GoFundMe page for the family. So, far they have raised $4,000.

DISCLAIMER: Arrests and mugshots were made public by complaint affidavits, arrest affidavits, and police reports. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty.

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Scott Lee travels between Brevard County and Indian River County and has been writing for various publications for approximately 30 years. Lee also writes for Sebastian Daily covering Vero Beach and Florida news. Currently, he covers Palm Bay, West Melbourne, and the Melbourne area.
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