UPDATE-- Thursday, January 4 3:00 p.m.

At his court appearance on Thursday before substitute Justice of the Peace David Steele, Sean Lewis was in tears during most of the interview from the jail. He is a senior at Big Sky High School and plans to attend Missoula College upon graduation.

Chief Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jason Marks asked that Lewis' $25,000 bond be continued.

"Our primary concern is that Mr. Lewis presents a flight risk given the severe nature of the charges, and what we believe are very limited ties to the community," Marks said. "It's my understanding that he came here to be with the mother of the child in question. He's from Browning and my concern is that he would have incentive to flee back there, and historically, we've had difficulties extraditing tribal members from that reservation."

Lewis' parents were in the courtroom watching the proceedings via video from the jail. His mother asked the judge to lower the bond, 'because we don't have very much money'. Her request was denied.


19 year-old Sean Lewis is in the Missoula County Jail on $25,000 bail for allegedly causing serious injury to a two month-old infant by 'vigorously' shaking her.

According to court documents, the child was left in Lewis’ care on December 23 when the child’s mother left the residence to do laundry. When she returned, the child was lethargic and began vomiting.

Lewis initially discouraged the child’s mother from taking her to the emergency room, but eventually the two took the child to Community Medical Center where it was determined that the child had suffered extensive and permanent brain damage. Lewis said he may have ‘accidentally rocked the child too hard’.

The emergency room physicians contacted Missoula Police who interviewed Lewis. He told investigators that the child fell from his arms while he was rocking her. He said the child was unresponsive when he picked her up and ‘shook her vigorously’ for three to five minutes in an effort to get her to respond. Medical personnel did not find any evidence that the child had suffered a fall.

Lewis appeared in Missoula Justice Court on Thursday.

The possible penalties for felony aggravated assault are up to 20 years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine.

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