Dashana Oldham, caught on hospital video choking toddler son, sentenced to 9 years in prison

Doctors called police

INDIANAPOLIS - A mother caught on camera repeatedly choking her 15-month-old son has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

Dashana Oldham, 20, was arrested last fall on preliminary charges of battery and neglect after a doctor at St. Vincent Hospital told police she had seen video footage of Oldham choking her son.

The boy was admitted to St. Vincent on Sept. 27 after Oldham called an ambulance because the boy was having an "episode" during which he was unresponsive, limp and had blue lips for four to six minutes, according to the probable cause affidavit.

To aid in diagnosis, doctors placed the child on a video EEG, which monitors brain activity and records video of the patient's appearance.

According to court documents, the child's oxygen levels dropped on multiple occasions, and when the doctor viewed the video to find a cause, she saw that Oldham had caused the episodes by choking her son.

According to the probable cause affidavit, the video shows Oldham with her hand around the boy's throat while the boy screams, cries, gasps for breath, coughs, kicks his legs, rears his head back and squirms around.

After choking him and after the boy calmed down, Oldham pressed the call button to alert hospital staff of her son's episode, police said.

Oldham initially denied choking her son, but later told police that she used her thumb to apply pressure to her son's throat in order to recreate one of his episodes so the doctors could have a better idea of what had been happening to the boy at home, according to the affidavit.

Oldham said her son had suffered at least 10 episodes since June, but she maintained that the only times she had choked her son were the incidents caught on camera at the hospital, according to the affidavit.

Oldham pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated battery. She was sentenced to nine years in prison and three years on probation.

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