Coatesville man charged with murder of infant daughter

Zion Isaiah Shockley

A Coatesville man faces murder charges in the death of his infant daughter earlier this month.

Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan and the Coatesville Police Department announced murder charges arising from the death of a five-month old infant. Defendant Zion Isaiah Shockley has been charged with first degree murder and related offenses for shaking, throwing, and dropping his infant daughter, causing her death. Investigative findings showed that the child had suffered abusive head trauma on multiple occasions resulting in death. The defendant was the primary caretaker for the child at the time of her death and other causes for the fatal injuries have been ruled out.

“An infant can not defend herself. A baby can not run away or call for help,” Hogan said. “A five-month old can not tell people what is happening to her. A baby is the most vulnerable and innocent victim possible.

“Now it is our job to do what this baby could not, and deliver justice to the killer.”

Law enforcement officers said they wanted to give the young victim a voice.

“Officers and detectives with the Coatesville Police Department partnered with prosecutors and detectives from the District Attorney’s Office to make sure that the five-month old victim in this case had an advocate for her life even after her death,” Laufer said. “Conducting homicide investigations involving infant children is one of the most demanding cases that officers, detectives, and prosecutors face. Once again, Chester County law enforcement has demonstrated the value of a team approach to investigating, solving, and prosecuting difficult criminal cases.”

¬†Shockley shared custody of his five-month old daughter, Rosalie Faith Crothers-Shockley, with the child’s mother.

On Feb. 10, Coatesville police officers responded to 524 E. Harmony Street for a five-month old female in cardiac arrest.

Paramedics transported the child victim to Brandywine Hospital, and later A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children in critical condition. Despite extensive medical intervention, the baby died on February 12, 2018.

While at DuPont, the child was found to have both chronic and acute intracranial hemorrhages and extensive bilateral retinal hemorrhages throughout all layers of the retina. In other words, she was bleeding from the brain and eyes.

These injuries are consistent with abusive head trauma, investigators said. Such trauma is caused by both recent and ongoing abuse. At the time of her injuries, the child victim was in the exclusive control of the defendant.

The investigation by Coatesville Police and Chester County Detectives determined that the child’s injuries were consistent with the defendant dropping and violently shaking the baby immediately before her death. The older, chronic brain injuries suffered by the child victim are consistent with the child being previously abused by the defendant.

The defendant has been charged with first degree murder and related charges. The defendant is not eligible for bail and is currently incarcerated at Chester County Prison.

“Chester County child abuse investigators have become highly skilled at differentiating accidents from intentionally inflicted injuries,” Hogan said. “Using the best medical techniques and employing an interdisciplinary approach, we are able to discover child abuse crimes that in many places would be closed out as accidental or unexplained deaths. That capability is a tremendous resource and a tremendous responsibility.”

Anybody with information about this case should contact Coatesville Detective Jonathan Shave at (610) 3842300 or Chester County Detective Christine Bleiler at (610) 3446866. Assistant District Attorney Erin O’Brien is the assigned prosecutor.

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