Coast mom speaks out after infant put on life support with skull fracture, father arrested

Colton Ellison with his mom, Jessica Lynn Smith
Colton Ellison with his mom, Jessica Lynn Smith Courtesy Jessica Lynn Smith

The mother of a 2-month-old baby on life support says she doesn’t understand what happened to reportedly make the infant’s father snap.

Colton Wyatt Ellison is in critical condition and his father, Byron Allen Ellison, has been arrested on a charge of felony child abuse.

Critical injuries the infant suffered on Monday led to the father’s arrest, Sheriff Troy Peterson said Tuesday. The father has admitted abusing the baby, Peterson said.

The infant has two brain bleeds and a fractured skull, according to the sheriff said.

“My son is probably going to pass,” Jessica Lynn Smith said.

“I don’t know what happened to his dad. He was there the whole time I was pregnant and at Ochsner’s when our baby had surgery a month ago.”

Smith, who has been living with Ellison and their child at his parents’ home on Calcutta Drive, said her baby woke up and needed his diaper changed, and she changed his diaper. Colton was hungry and had a cold, and she gave Colton to Ellison while she went in the kitchen.

“I was in the kitchen for about 10 minutes when Byron brought him in,” Smith said. “Colton was having some problems breathing and his heart stopped.”

Smith said she called 911 and followed instructions to perform chest compressions. She was relieved when firefighters arrived and took over.

“I tried my best, but they could do it better than me,” she said. “His heart started back.”

Deputies and an ambulance crew had also gone to the home and found the baby was not breathing, the sheriff said. The neighborhood is south of Robinson Road off Windance Drive.

Medical personnel at Garden Park Medical Center discovered the infant had suffered a skull fracture and has a double brain bleed, Peterson said.

Smith says Ellison lied to her at the hospital, saying he hadn’t done anything to their baby. Colton was flown to Oschner’s Children’s Hospital in New Orleans.

Investigators questioned both parents, and the father “confessed to abusing the child,” Peterson said.

Smith said investigators told her what Ellison admitted doing.

“He was tired and angry because the baby was crying,” she said. “He had stayed up all night. He held the baby and hit the infant’s head against his collar bone or clavicle.”

Brain scans are being performed on the infant. Ellison was being held at the Harrison County jail on a $100,000 bond set by Justice Court Judge Diane Ladner.

Smith said Colton is “a miracle baby.” He had been born with an esophagus problem and had undergone surgery but was doing fine.

“I’m not trying to get publicity over this,” she said. “I just want people to know the truth. Colton’s mom loves him. His dad loves him. I just don’t know what happened to his dad.”

It’s the third time in as many months that a father in Harrison County has been accused of abusing a 2-month-old son and was arrested on a charge of felony child abuse.

Gulfport police arrested Shawn Michael Babbitt, 29, in July. Police did not give details on why Babbitt reportedly abused the child.

Sheriff’s investigators arrested Buddy Cox, 21, in September. Cox is accused of striking his son because it wouldn’t stop crying.

RobinFitzgerald, 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews