Father pleads not guilty to attacking infant

Updated:

Rylee Barnett's mother says the girl is on anti-seizure medication after an alleged attack involving her father.

ATLANTA - A Johns Creek father has pleaded not guilty to charges he severely injured his infant daughter during a fit of rage.

Gregory Barnett entered his plea Friday at Fulton County Superior Court. He's facing numerous charges, including child cruelty and aggravated assault stemming from the alleged attack in January. Police said he slammed the head of his then 5-week-old daughter, Rylee, causing brain damage.

"She's on anti-seizure medication. She has a shunt in her head to drain spinal fluid. Her right side is pretty much useless," her mother, Courtney Johnson, told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik. "She's got a sweet smile and a great personality, and I'm just grateful that she's here."

Johnson said her daughter spent six weeks at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite before she could head home, and is now undergoing intensive physical and occupational therapy.

"Cognitively, emotionally, socially, she's there, and … that gives me hope and encouragement," said Johnson.

Johnson said she's thankful to receive support from friends and family during what has been a difficult seven months.

"It's been overwhelming, the response great, and I couldn't have been here without it," she said.

She told Petchenik she wants to put the court case behind her so she can focus on her little girl.

"I'll be here for her every step of the way and fight for her every chance that I can," she said.