Tolono caregiver charged after allegedly shaking infant


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URBANA — A Tolono caregiver is in the Champaign County jail, accused of shaking an infant in her care so hard that he sustained brain damage.

State's Attorney Julia Rietz filed a single count of aggravated battery of a child — a Class X felony — against Michele Reed, 41, who listed an address on East Daggy Street, on Tuesday. Reed was picked up later in the day on a warrant and appeared in court via video monitor Wednesday.

Rietz said Tolono police began investigating Reed on Friday after Reed called 911 about 11 a.m. to report a 6-month-old boy in her care was not responsive.

Reed told paramedics and a Tolono police officer that the boy fell from a couch.

Doctors at Carle Hospital determined the boy had sustained a brain bleed caused by what Rietz said was described as "multiple back and forth movements to the child's head consistent with having been shaken or thown."

The child remains hospitalized in serious condition.

Tolono Police Department Officer Dan Morgan, a retired Urbana police officer and long-time detective, interviewed Reed, who told him she watches several children in her home.

"She became frustrated that the child was crying and she shook the child and threw the child down then left the room," Rietz recounted. "When she returned, the child was unresponsive."

Morgan said Reed has been providing day care in her home for several years.

She's being held in lieu of $150,000 bond, set Tuesday by Judge Jeff Ford after he heard a synopsis of the allegations. Reed was ordered to have no contact with the baby or his parents. She's due back in court Dec. 12.

If convicted of the charge, Reed faces a mandatory prison term of between six and 30 years.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).