Prince William County police charged a 27-year-old Alexandria man yesterday with malicious wounding in an attack on a baby girl, who is in serious condition at Children's Hospital suffering from head trauma.

Clifford Harris III of the 300 block of East Windsor Avenue turned himself in at a Woodbridge police substation, where he was charged with the November assault of Shameika Towler, who was then a little more than 2 months old, police said.

Harris, a part-time drug store and supermarket employe, was being held at the Prince William jail in lieu of $50,000 bond.

He faces a Jan. 14 preliminary hearing.

According to Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Wenda Travers, Harris has denied injuring the child while baby-sitting with her in a home off Belleau Woods Drive near Dumfries.

For nearly a month, Shameika Towler, one of prematurely born twins, has been in the intensive care unit of the hospital.

"The doctors say if she survives, she will probably be in a comatose state or in a persistently vegetated state," said Travers.

Prince William police began an investigation after the baby was taken to Potomac Hospital on Nov. 18.

According to police spokesman Sam Walker, Shameika's mother, Jennifer Towler, had left Shameika and her twin sister with Harris. When Jennifer Towler returned home, Shameika was listless, Travers said.

Shameika was then taken to Potomac Hospital, but was later flown to Children's Hospital.