Woman charged with shaking baby wants change of venue

By Gary Brode | gbrode@wcia.com

Published 02/17 2014 10:12PM

Updated 07/17 2014 05:20PM

Latest: 4:47 pm, 7/17/14, Thursday
COLES COUNTY -- A Charleston woman wants her trial moved to another county. Patricia Brant is accused of shaking a toddler so hard it caused brain damage. She cared for Pierson Eaker at her daycare when he was a 1-year old.

Brant's attorney says the case has gotten too much publicity and to get a fair trial, it needs to be moved. The State's Attorney has to respond to the request by August 4.
Latest: 11:08 am, 2/24/14, Monday
COLES COUNTY -- A Charleston woman accused of shaking a child unconscious was in court Monday. Patricia Brant is charged with aggravated battery of a child. She owns and operates Treasured Tots Daycare.

The State's Attorney says a request to change the judge in the case was granted. Brant is set to appear in court with a different judge March 3.

1-year old Piersen Eaker suffered brain damage from the incident. Family and friends say he'll undergo a long road to recovery.
Update: 10:06 pm, 2/18/14, Tuesday
URBANA -- An abused toddler's health is starting to improve. 1-year old Piersen Eaker is now able to breathe on his own. Doctors took him off ventilation Tuesday afternoon. Piersen is still sedated, however and there's a tube in his nose for precautionary purposes.

Patricia Brant was arrested Saturday for shaking the child. She owns and operates Treasured Tots Daycare, in Charleston. A DCFS spokesperson said they are investigating allegations of abuse and neglect involving five victims.

Brant's bond was set for $200,000, but she did not post bail and remains in Coles County Jail. Her court date is set for 9 am, Monday. The State's Attorney's Office says they are expecting formal charges to happen later this week.
Original: 10:17 pm, 2/17/14, Monday
CHARLESTON -- Neighbors are stunned to find out the child living next door is fighting for his life and police say his daycare provider is to blame. 1-year old Piersen Eaker has been in the hospital since Friday with signs of shaken baby syndrome. He has some bleeding in his brain.

Doctors are trying to take him off ventilation, but so far Eaker has not been able to breathe on his own. Police arrested Patricia Brant for aggravated assault of a child, a class X felony. Brant owns and operates Treasured Tots Daycare.

The family says they believe Brant shook Eaker until he was unconscious. Neighbors describe Piersen as the sweetest little boy. Neighbors are helping out by watching Piersen's 5-month old brother, Lincoln.

Brant was awarded a CDA credential for her outstanding work with young kids less than four years ago. No bond has been set for Brant at this time.

The family set up a blog to update family and friends of Piersen's condition. For more information, click here.

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