Baby doing better after att. drowning

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A baby whose father attempted to drown her in a private pond offHighway 84 is doing a little better this week, University ofMississippi Medical Center officials said.

The child, who was 3 weeks old at the time of the attempteddrowning, has been upgraded from critical condition to stable butserious condition as of Monday. She has been at UMC since25-year-old Curtney Gayten attempted to drown her at a lake nearher home on Highway 84.

Officials said Gayten was holding the child under water and had agun pointed at a Lincoln County sheriff’s deputy when the officertold him to get the baby out of the water and drop the gun.

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The officer could not see the child under the water, and whenGayten leveled the gun at him, the officer fired. Gayten waspronounced dead on the scene.

The child was fished out of the water and resuscitated on the sceneby other deputies.

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said he and his officers areglad to hear of the child’s improvement.

“I’m glad to hear she’s doing better,” he said. “We’re all hopingand praying for a speedy recovery.”

The incident was put under routine investigation by the MississippiBureau of Investigation. Rushing said it is always procedure forstate officials to take over the probe in a situation where thereis an officer-involved shooting, but that he is not at liberty todiscuss the progress or the findings of the investigation.