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Parents Testify In Baby Henry Trial

June 25, 2009, 5:50 PM by Perry Groten

Parents Testify In Baby Henry Trial
Testimony began Thursday in the trial of a Sioux Falls day care provider who's accused of severely injuring an infant under her care. The parents of Baby Henry Johnson took the stand to testify against Amy Dierks, who's charged with aggravated assault.

Marissa Johnson began crying when she recalled seeing her young son Henry in the emergency room on November 12, 2007. He was unresponsive and had a seizure. She said Henry had a bump on the right side of his head the size of a quarter.

Steven Johnson testified that he picked up his son that afternoon from Dierks' day care and said he was "scared out of my mind" because Henry was "pale and limp." He says Dierks told him she was having a hard time waking him up.

Defense attorneys said doctors "rushed to judgement" in this case and that Dierks did not cause the brain injury. They said Henry had been suffering from symptoms, including vomiting and changes in his sleep patterns, in the weeks before he took a turn for the worse at the day care.

But the Johnsons said Henry was a healthy and happy boy before enrolling in Dierks' day care. The couple even nicknamed their son "Hank the Tank."

A doctor who treated Henry in the emergency room testified he had a head injury consistent with a child that was shaken.

The Johnsons say Henry has regular check-ups with doctors and receives therapy at his home six days a week.

Dierks faces up to 25 years in prison if she's found guilty.

Her trial is expected to take about a week.

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