Monday, October 20, 2014

More on dad who shot and killed his two kids and injured a third; seems he had "aggression" issues (Port Orange, Florida)

The initial accounts of these murders viciously tarred the mother as an "abuser" because she allegedly "hit" the children (this accusation by a man who later shot his three children, killing two). She was also accused of being a "substance abuser." 

See our earlier post here.

Never mind that it is a common tactic for abusers to try and deflect attention away from their own actions by attacking and smearing the victim, and enlisting the children in their smear campaign. After years of seemingly endless psychological attacks, even victims start to doubt their own sanity and personal take on reality. So I'm not sure how seriously I take these accusations without additional substantiation that is not the killer daddy's say-so.

And notice that Daddy was trying to set up a situation where he would get FULL CUSTODY and move out of state, presumably with full child support from Mom to support his deadbeat lifestyle. (The dude refused to work the whole time they lived in Florida and wasn't too successful at his chiropractic training either.) Don't suppose that had anything to do with his accusations, eh?

At any rate, despite her alleged faults, MOM DIDN'T KILL ANYBODY. AND DADDY DID. That should be the key take-away point, but it keeps getting lost in the public commentary.

For Example: "Neighbors" (who were apparently friends and enablers of the killer) self-righteously claimed she was just as "selfish" and "self-centered" as he was--even though she apparently never gunned down anybody in cold blood. It's a classic false equivalence argument. Any deviation  from sainthood (however defined) means somebody is just as bad as a mass killer.

NO. That's just garbage, meant to excuse vicious criminals and minimize their actions.

NOW we're getting what seems like a more likely story. Mom was a "good mom" who was a "nice person and she cared a lot about her children." Daddy, the one who loudly proclaimed that it was Mom who hit the kids all the time, in reality had "some aggression."

Ya think?

But for people who only read the initial articles, the damage to the mother's reputation has already been done.

And finally, please get this. This was not a "volatile relationship." This was a vicious man who threatened the mother with a gun, then coldly gunned down all three children, killing two.

And even then notice that there  is STILL a lot of denial here since killer daddy sometimes played with the kids--in the public eye at least.

People just don't get the difference between public performance and private reality, do they?

Dad is identified as DAVID MOHNEY.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/ap/ap/200-gather-to-mourn-children-slain-by-father/nhm3s/

Updated: 11:45 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014 | Posted: 11:45 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014

200 gather to mourn children slain by father

The Associated Press

PORT ORANGE, Fla. — Nearly 200 people gathered outside a Florida middle school to remember two children shot and killed by their father before he killed himself. Friends of 14-year-old Savanna and 11-year-old David Mohney mourned their deaths Saturday night outside Creekside Middle School in Port Orange.

The Mohneys' 9-year-old sister Lauren also was shot, but she survived and remained hospitalized. The pastor of Thrive Community Church, Pete Keirstead, led the crowd of families and children, some holding candles in cups, in prayer.

"We pray for all those who have been touched by this tragedy," he said. "As Lauren is in this battle, she is not in it alone."

Mary Cook said that when her father died, Savanna never left her side.

"Even if you didn't know her and she saw you upset, she'd be there," the 13-year-old told the Daytona Beach News-Journal (http://bit.ly/1y6MSc9 ). She added that when her friend's death was announced at their high school Friday, "I don't think there was a dry eye at that school."

Chase Cross, 11, remembered his friend David as funny and enthusiastic.

"He was one of my first friends when I moved here," Chase said. "I liked that he was funny."

Chase's mother said David was a polite child, and she praised his mother, Cynthia Mohney.

"His mom was a good mom," Jordan Cross said. "She was a nice person and she cared a lot about her children."

Just before the shootings early Friday, Mohney went screaming to a neighbor's home and asked for help because her 52-year-old husband had threatened her with a gun during an argument, according to a 911 call.

At the Mohneys' home, deputies found Savannah and Lauren both shot in an upstairs bedroom. Their brother was in a bedroom on the ground floor. Their father was in the kitchen with a handgun next to him.

Authorities say the Mohney and her husband had a volatile relationship and were divorcing, and the father wanted to move his children to South Dakota where he planned to start work as a chiropractor. The family had lived in Florida for about four years.

Neighbor Justin King said he couldn't imagine the children's father wanting to taking their lives. The children had always seemed outgoing and energetic, just like other kids, he said.

"I know he had some aggression, but I didn't think he would go that far," King said. "He loved his children. He would always play with them." ___

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dad arrested on homicide charges for death of 2-year-old son (Ada, Oklahoma)

Notice there is no specific mention of a mother in the home. Just (unnamed) "family members."

Dad is identified as TERRENCE JONES.

http://www.kten.com/story/26825551/ada-father-arrested-for-toddlers-death

Ada Father Arrested for Toddler's Death

Posted: Oct 19, 2014 6:38 PM EDT

By Markie Martin, Reporter

ADA, OK--Ada police are investigating a homicide involving a 2-year-old boy whose father is now in custody for his death.

Twenty-five-year-old Terrence Jones was arrested Saturday morning about 6 o'clock after officers found his 2-year-old son unresponsive in a home on 13th Street. Deputies say Jones was intoxicated and slumped over onto his toddler on a sofa chair, which suffocated him.

Jones and other family members were reportedly drinking until the early hours of the morning. The child was transported to the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Jones was charged with child neglect and is being held in the Pontotoc County Jail.

Custodial dad charged with felony domestic battery for severe beating of 13-year-old son with extension cord; boy had over 50 welts and cuts (Chicago, Illinois)

Once again, it is not spelled out clearly for readers, but dad MARIO BOONE must have had custody of this child. Notice that he had him during the school week during the missed parent-teacher conference and was able to keep him home from school for two days after the torturous beating with no repercussions.

This father could have killed this boy, who still has scarring months later.

The father didn't even bother to get the boy medical treatment. That waited till he dropped the boy off at the (paternal?) grandmother's house, meaning Mom was out of the loop. At least the grandmother had the decency to call the mother.

NOTICE IT WAS THE PROTECTIVE, NON-CUSTODIAL MOM WHO TOOK THE BOY TO THE HOSPITAL AND THE POLICE.

Thank goodness Mom now has custody.

But how was the father able to assume custody to begin with, and who helped him? How much you want to bet that he also has a history of domestic violence against the mother, and managed to get custody of the child despite his history? But of course this article goes into none of that.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-man-strikes-son-with-extension-cord-met-20141019-story.html

Prosecutors: Man repeatedly whipped son, 13, with cord

Mario Boone, 38, has been charged with felony domestic battery after prosecutors say he struck his 13-year-old son with an extension cord for 10 minutes when the boy was sent home from school this spring.

By Stephanie K. Baer

Teenage boy suffered more than 50 welts and cuts in whipping by dad, prosecutors say

October 19, 2014, 7:20 PM

A Chicago man has been charged with felony domestic battery after prosecutors say he repeatedly struck his 13-year-old son with an extension cord when the boy was sent home from school in May.

Mario Boone, 38, was arrested Saturday and appeared in bond court Sunday.

On May 27, the boy was brought home from school for failing to bring a parent to parent-teacher conferences, Assistant State's Attorney Andres Almendarez said at the bond hearing. After the boy was dropped off at his home in the 11000 block of South Sangamon Street, his father, Boone, became angry with him and ordered the boy to remove his clothing and go down to the basement, prosecutors said.

As the boy removed all clothing except for his underwear, Boone punched him in the face, Almendarez said. Boone then met his son in the basement and hit him in the face with a 5-foot extension cord, causing a gash on his face, prosecutors said.

The boy then curled up into a ball on the ground as his father continued to whip him with the cord for about 10 minutes, prosecutors said. Boone then stopped hitting the boy, washed his hands and then hit him four more times, according to prosecutors.

The boy suffered more than 50 welts and slashes over his body and did not receive medical treatment until two days later, after Boone took him to his grandmother's house, Almendarez said. During that time, Boone did not allow his son to go to school due to his visible injuries, prosecutors said.

When the victim's grandmother saw his injuries, she called his mother who took the boy to South Shore Hospital and called the police, prosecutors said.

"To this day, the victim remains with scarring on his face, back, leg and arm area," Almendarez said, adding that he did not have information as to why the man was arrested nearly five months after the incident.

Boone was arrested Saturday morning at his new home, in the 8000 block of South Colfax Avenue, according to court documents. The 13-year-old boy has been living with his mother since the incident, prosecutors said.

Boone's attorney, Jeffrey Moskowitz, said Boone has another child and has continued to provide for both children. The man has not had any contact with his son since the incident, Moskowitz said.

"I am very disturbed by this," said Cook County Circuit Judge Peggy Chiampas, as she looked at photographs of the boy's injuries.

Chiampas then set Boone's bail at $10,000.

Boone is due back in court Friday.

Dad arrested for abusing 3-month-old son; baby has extensive brusing, fractured ribs, and head injury (St. Paul, Minnesota)

Yet another short-tempered father brutalizes an infant for crying. Dad is identified as JOHN ERIC AUTEY.

http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/26825775/father-of-st-paul-3-month-old-charged-in-classic-child-abuse

Father of St. Paul 3-month-old charged in 'classic child abuse'

Posted: Oct 19, 2014 7:49 PM EDT Updated: Oct 19, 2014 7:49 PM EDT

by Shelby Capacio

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - A 45-year-old St. Paul man has been charged with two counts of malicious punishment of a child after a local doctor notified police that a 3-month-old boy in the ER appeared to be a victim of "classic child abuse."

The criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County late last week states that John Eric Autey brought his son to the emergency room the evening of April 23 and said the child had been vomiting since the day before. The doctor who examined the boy found extensive bruising on his chest wall that looked like fingers, fractured ribs, and a non-life-threatening hemorrhage in the boy's brain. When asked what happened, Autey said the boy fell from a bed.

The doctors at United and Children's Hospital in St. Paul didn't believe Autey was telling the whole story. Rather, St. Paul police were called in to take a child abuse report. When officers arrived, they spoke with a nurse and doctor who work for Midwest Children Resource Center -- a center that specializes in child physical and sexual abuse cases. The doctor said the boy's injuries were consistent with "classic child abuse," and the officers set out to speak with Autey.

Autey told police he was caring for the boy at his St. Paul home on April 21 when the child rolled off a bed. Autey added that he grabbed the boy while catching him from the fall and then rocked him to sleep. He further explained that he noticed bruising on the boy's chest the next day, and said the vomiting began the day after that. He also told police that his wife was in Mexico for business when the incident occurred.

Autey met a child protection worker in Ramsey County the following week, and during that meeting, he reportedly admitted his son's injuries were caused by shaking. The criminal complaint states that Autey became angry after the boy fell off a bed and would not stop crying, and he admitted to shaking the boy for 5 to 10 seconds before putting the child on the bed and leaving the room. He added that he knew what he did was wrong and felt like he was going to throw up.

If convicted on both counts, Autey could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and fines of up to $20,000.

Dad with sole custody loses 11-year-old son to foster care after beating; why are authorities pushing for him to get custody back and not mom? (Tucson, Arizona)

Yet another one of those cases where you have to read between the lines and notice what is NOT said and what is NOT explained.

UNNAMED DAD had SOLE CUSTODY and was allowed to move out of state, away from the mother. Mothers are increasingly banned from moveaways, but the same restrictions apparently don't apply to dads.

The father is obviously abusive. He beat the boy hard enough to make him fall to the floor and then continued to beat him. The beating left the boy with welts and broken blood vessels.   

During the initial 911 call, the boy (obviously traumatized and stuttering) reported he wanted to live with Mom. It appears that he was pressured to later recant and say he wants to live with the abuser again.

So the authorities put the boy in foster care, where he is reputedly depressed and not doing well.

Why is the boy in foster care and not with mom? Notice that the explanation is short and vague to the extreme, that she was "not deemed a possible placement after the father’s arrest." Why not? Is she more abusive than Daddy? There are no claims that she is. I suspect nothing but politics here, given that no specifics are given that could document their deceit (or likely corruption).

Meanwhile, the abusive father is full of denial, trying to convince the child protection officials that photos of his son's back just show that it's merely "red." The officials aren't buying it.

But that has stopped Daddy from GETTING CUSTODY BACK. His elderly mother is supposed to be moving in to "help," but the boy's mother protested because the elderly mother couldn't possibly "effectively protect" the child. Of course she couldn't. It's total nonsense.

Frankly it is UTTER BULLS*** that this mother doesn't get custody back, but of course abusers are outstanding at smearing the protective parent, instigating trauma bonding with the victim, and forcing the victim to recant for fear of additional abuse. The boy was obviously threatened and punished for calling his mother after the beating and saying what he said.

And of course the authorities are all ready to play enablers to the abusive daddy.

Who says daddies are discriminated against?

And how much you want to bet he beat the mother too?

These questions are not only NOT RAISED but are buried under a ridiculous "philosophical" treatise about what child abuse is or isn't.

http://tucson.com/news/local/tucson-dad-calls-it-spanking-officials-say-abuse/article_40cdd03a-afb4-542b-907e-b56a3c1e906b.html

Tucson dad calls it spanking; authorities say abuse

22 hours ago • By Patty Machelor

A Tucson man used a folded belt to discipline his son — and now he is facing criminal charges and his child is in foster care.

Authorities say the 42-year-old father crossed the line from legal spanking into child abuse last February when he hit his 11-year-old son hard enough to leave welts.

The father says he merely gave his child a spanking that left red marks, and that no one who saw the boy afterwards deemed the injuries serious enough to need medical treatment. He hadn’t spanked his son for a year, he says, and is something he does rarely.

“This wasn’t abuse. But even if you considered it abuse, how would it rise to the level of a removal?” he asks. “Why would it go that far?”

His son was put into foster care in February and, after months of hearings and legal debate, remains there today. The man’s criminal case is no less complicated: He was indicted on felony child abuse charges once, but then the case was sent back and a second grand jury declined to indict. He now faces a misdemeanor charge of child abuse.

Officials with the Arizona Department of Child Safety declined to discuss the case or whether the agency has any specific protocols when it comes to spanking and corporal punishment.

The case highlights the ongoing debate over how far a parent should go when disciplining a child. Arizona law permits parents to hit their children but only in a “reasonable and appropriate” manner.

The controversy has grown even more intense since last month’s indictment of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Peterson is facing felony child abuse charges after he used a switch from a tree to discipline his 4-year-old son.

Since 1986, the number of people who support spanking nationally is still high, but falling — from 84 percent to about 70 percent in 2012, reports the University of Chicago’s General Social Survey. Worldwide, 32 countries prohibit spanking.

School performance

A scrapbook shows some of the boy’s many accomplishments: honor student, budding pianist, natural athlete. But his father, whom the Star is not identifying to protect the child’s identity, says nine months in foster homes and group care have left his son depressed, disoriented and rapidly gaining weight.

Court records from the father’s criminal case show that while the boy was initially angry and wanted to live with his mother after his father hit him with the belt, he now wants to be with his father again.

The pair moved to Tucson from the East Coast in 2013 a few years after the father won sole custody. The boy sees his mother periodically, during vacations and summer breaks, but she was not deemed a possible placement after the father’s arrest. Attempts to reach the boy’s mother were unsuccessful.

In general, the father says he employs other means of discipline — such as loss of privileges and grounding. But he says last February’s punishment was harsher because of his son’s repeated lying about how he was doing in school. The father says that when he found his son had again lied and missed eight assignments, he decided to give him “eight straps.”

Afterwards, the father left to run some errands and received a call from Tucson police about an emergency call made by his son.

“He called his mom and complained and she coerced him to call 911,” the father says. “They arrested me on the spot.”

A Pima County grand jury indicted the father in March on felony child abuse charges. But the case went back to a second grand jury after a judge found the original panel didn’t receive enough information about how, under Arizona law, a parent, guardian or teacher can use physical force against a child as long as it’s “reasonably necessary and appropriate to maintain discipline.”

During the proceedings, a Tucson police detective testified that the boy said his father hit him so hard on the buttocks that he fell, and then continued to hit him with the belt when he was on the floor. The boy told police and investigators that he was frightened and that his father was angry, transcripts show.

Police records describe welts and the speckling of broken blood vessels on the boy’s skin. Dr. Dale Woolridge, who examined photographs of the boy’s injuries, told police that a large amount of force had caused the marks — force the doctor said “exceeds discipline.”

The father testified that he used a belt because he subscribes to a philosophy that parents should not use their hands to punish their children. He also testified that the boy tried to move away from him during the spanking, and that was the reason he was hit on his legs and back as well as his buttocks.

“I have never touched him with my hands in any type of, you know, aggressive way,” he told the second grand jury, records show. “So, as his father, someone who loves him more than anyone, I believed this was the best course of action, you know, given the seriousness of the lesson that he needed to learn.”

Afterward, when the boy called 911, he told the person on the line that he wanted to go live with his mother, who resides out-of-state.

“I, I, I, I, I just call, I just called because I thought I like, I could go live with my mom because, I, she said I’m old enough to decide or something,” he said, a transcript of the call shows.

He later said in the 911 call that it wasn’t typical of his father to hit him.

“I mean, he doesn’t like usually do this. He’s, I mean, he’s usually good, but this time he kinda went too far,” the boy told the police.

The second grand jury declined to indict by a vote of 7-6.

No ideal punishment

Rebecca Mueller, the misdemeanor-unit supervisor with the County Attorney’s Office, says the child-abuse cases her office prosecutes go beyond what people typically think of as a spanking.

“While the person charged might qualify it as a spanking, we are looking at exactly what that conduct was,” Mueller says.

A spanking, developmental psychologist Marjorie Gunnoe says, should include no more than two swats on a child’s arm, leg or buttocks with an open hand, and should be administered to children ages 2 to 7 — and then phased out.

Gunnoe, of Calvin College in Michigan, believes spanking can sometimes be necessary for a parent to bring about a “healthy level of compliance.”

Her position is not a popular one in the academic world, she says, but most of the public agrees with her. She says there is no ideal when it comes to punishment and that how a parent proceeds depends on the child.

Some children need an occasional spanking, while others do not, she said, but outlawing spanking would put parents in a situation “where their hands are so tied that they cannot parent effectively.”

But Deborah Sendek, program director for the National Center for Effective Discipline, says other means of disciplining children work better. Spanking risks traumatizing the child physically and emotionally, she says.

Women who were spanked as children often have trouble establishing boundaries in relationships and are more vulnerable to domestic violence, she says. Men who were hit, in turn, often have trouble recognizing other people’s boundaries and are more at risk to become abusers.

Banning spanking would take the guess work out of figuring out when hitting is OK, she says.

“In all 50 states in the U.S., parents are allowed to use what’s called reasonable force. But what’s reasonable isn’t always defined the same between you or me or someone else,” she says. “The laws are still very ambiguous and the word reasonable interprets differently to different people.”

Laws, not protocol

The Tucson father spends his free time researching his case. He carries around stacks of legal documents and printouts of research papers, along with a small album that holds photos of his son.

A couple of weeks ago, the father drove to Phoenix to meet with officials from the state’s Department of Child Safety. He shared with them a photograph of the strap mark on his son’s back, urging them to agree that it was merely red and not welt-riddled with broken blood vessels, but they disagreed.

He asked for a copy of their protocol on spanking and says he was told they don’t have any protocol because they follow the law.

Late last week, the man said, his son was supposed to return home to live with both his father and his paternal grandmother, who moved here from Florida to help. The father, under this plan, would have received in-home services from child-welfare workers.

But the case stalled again when the child’s mother protested. Her attorney filed the concern, saying the grandmother could not effectively protect her grandson from her son.

The child, who sees his father twice a week during supervised visits, remains at a group home.

Shaken baby syndrome: Fighting an epidemic mostly perpetrated by fathers and male caretakers (Springfield, Missouri)

Studies consistently show that most perpetrators of abusive head trauma are fathers followed by other male caretakers. Notice that this is totally the case here, but not stated explicitly. It's too politically incorrect to simply report all this accurately without a lot of flack.

http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/local/ozarks/2014/10/18/shaken-baby-syndrome-fighting-tragic-epidemic/17524271/

Shaken baby syndrome: Fighting a tragic epidemic

Stephen Herzog | 6:09 a.m. CDT October 19, 2014

Doctors said her baby wouldn't be able to walk. Wouldn't be able to talk. Might be "a vegetable."

Only 4 months old, Savannah Wilson's life was on hold after doctors diagnosed her with shaken baby syndrome.

"My world just collapsed around me," Ghesika Wilson said, imagining her daughter's life and all the things she wouldn't be able to do.

Savannah's injury was the result of Ghesika's boyfriend shaking the infant. He has since been sent to prison.

Officials say the syndrome is particularly prevalent in southwest Missouri, where the high number of child abuse reports is well documented. To try to stem the problem through education, a local hospital is trying out some new technology, through an interactive doll.

Savannah spent more than two weeks in the intensive care unit at then-St. John's in Springfield, before she was sent to the St. Louis area for rehab.

It was in St. Louis that Savannah suddenly started to improve. She sat up on her own, and eventually started crawling.

"She's such a competitive girl," Ghesika said. "I think she watched her sister and wanted to be able to do the same things."

Three years later, Savannah is doing great, Ghesika Wilson said. She still has some balance issues and doesn't run as fast as her friends, but she's otherwise a happy, healthy kid, still fighting to keep up with her 5-year-old sister, Addy Mae.

"She's so intelligent," Ghesika Wilson said. "She knows all her numbers, all the months of the year, the days of the week."

But as health care professionals in southwest Missouri know well, not all babies are so lucky.

Deaths, injuries

Nancy Hoeman, nurse coordinator for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, said a state report shows less than a third of infants who suffer abusive head trauma recover. They're most likely to suffer "significant cognitive or neurological deficits."

"The severity can vary from learning disabilities to seizures, blindness, paralysis or severe neurological injury leading to vegetative state," she said.

The most recent report from the Missouri Child Fatality Review Board says that in 2012, 10 infants across the state died as a result of abusive head trauma. In the five years before that, 78 children died as a result of abusive head trauma, according to the board.

And, according to the board, those deaths only account for about 20 percent of cases.

"The number of fatalities is the tip of the iceberg, so to speak," Hoeman said.

She said infants, because of their proportionally large heads and undeveloped neck and shoulder muscles, are particularly vulnerable to abusive head trauma.

Jason Martin, injury prevention coordinator for CoxHealth, explained that infants have space between their brains and skulls, before their brains eventually grow to fit better. That space allows the brain to move back and forth and collide with the skull if the child is shaken.

Education

Martin said the hospital's staff is well aware of the special problem the region has with child abuse and with shaken baby syndrome specifically.

"Springfield, southwest Missouri, is tops in the state for child abuse and certainly shaken baby," he said.

He said the hospital is working hard to change the trend.

A few years ago, the hospital started to see a rise in cases of babies being shaken, he said.

It hit especially close to home when one of the hospital's employees, Monica Howard, discovered her daughter Lyla had been the victim of shaking when 3 months old. Her father pleaded guilty in the case in 2011.

Doctors were concerned Lyla wouldn't survive, and would at least be disabled. Martin said Lyla made a "miraculous recovery" and is now healthy and perfectly normal.

But that case, along with many others, led officials to question their prevention methods.

"So we said, 'What are we doing?'" he said. "'Can we do more?'"

After months of research and planning, the Trauma Services department started using an interactive simulation doll to simulate the effect of shaking a baby and the human brain.

The doll has a clear skull which lights up in places when it's shaken. Martin said nurses have seen a significant difference in how parents respond when the doll is used, compared to the traditional teaching methods.

One reason? He said the doll shows how what seems like a little shaking can have devastating results.

"It doesn't have to be violent," Martin said. "It can be a quick, brief, losing it for a second ... whip back and forth, and then the damage is done."

Now, every parent who brings an infant to the ICU sees the demonstration with the doll. Soon, the plan is for parents of every infant who comes through the hospital to see it.

Eventually Cox hopes to take dolls to Branson and Monett, with other hospital systems picking up the plan, if Cox can prove it works.

"That's obviously the most important thing," Martin said. "Will this make a difference? Time will have to tell us that."

Prosecution

While health care professionals try to educate, prosecutors are working hard to incarcerate. They want offenders in prison.

It's not easy.

Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson said all child abuse cases, including abusive head trauma cases, come with challenges.

"Once you have a medical diagnosis of abusive injury, investigators have to work from that to narrow down the time frames to find out who inflicted the injuries," he said. "That's a challenge, frankly, in all physical child abuse cases. It depends on what the injuries are exactly with regard to how complicated that may be."

If the injuries are less severe, the time frame is harder to narrow down, he said.

"We rely on good police work to figure out those issues and find other corroborating evidence to identify the suspect," Patterson said.

"It is a priority in our office. We all know the statistics with regard to the reports of child abuse being higher in Greene County."

Even when officials can develop a case, it doesn't always result in a prosecution. Steven Kleber was charged with child abuse in connection with injuries his daughter suffered. Kleber maintained that he tripped and fell with the girl in his arms and a jury found him not guilty.

In the case of Savannah Wilson, her abuser was convicted and sent to prison.

Ryan Hudson, 28, was found guilty last year of felony child abuse and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Prosecutors say Hudson was taking care of Savannah while Ghesika Wilson was at work when the injuries occurred. Doctors testified that Savannah's injuries were consistent with shaken baby syndrome.

Ghesika Wilson said she will never feel like Hudson was punished harshly enough for what he did, but that she's glad the case was resolved for Savannah.

While Savannah has made nearly a full recovery, health care and law enforcement officials see too many babies who do not. They want to end the suffering, through awareness and education.

Martin said: "We really want parents to walk away understanding that babies cry and there are other ways to help the baby."

Justice for shaken babies

Here are a few examples of cases presented in Greene County court in which defendants were accused of hurting or killing babies by shaking them.

JEAN PHILLIPE JACQUET

Jacquet pleaded guilty to child abuse in 2011 and was sentenced to three years in prison. Prosecutors say Jacquet was a French citizen who was in the U.S. illegally.

Prosecutors say he shook his 3-month-old daughter until she had a seizure. Later he admitted the shaking is what led to her injuries.

At the time, the infant was taken to the intensive care unit and on a ventilator, according to court records.

The infant, Lyla, ended up having what Cox RN Jason Martin called a "miraculous recovery," and is now a healthy 4-year-old.

JOHN DILLEY

Dilley was found guilty of killing 2-year-old Dominic James by shaking him in 2002. Dilley was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Dilley was the foster father of Dominic, who had been placed in the foster care after his parents were involved in a domestic dispute.

Dominic was hospitalized in 2002 and his parents insisted he be taken out of the foster home. Instead, he was sent back to the home and died a few days later.

MATTHEW HANDLANG

Handlang was sentenced to 20 years in prison last summer after he was found guilty of killing his 3-month-old daughter Aubrey by shaking her.

Documents say Handlang shook Aubrey, who was born prematurely, because she wouldn't stop crying and the family's dog wouldn't stop barking.

An autopsy found that Aubrey had brain swelling, severe brain bleeding, bleeding in the spinal cord and acute bleeding in the eyes.

STEVEN KLEBER

Kleber was found not guilty in 2012 of abusing his 7-week-old daughter, Mya.

But this case had a twist.

In 2010, Steven Kleber was confronted and shot by his then-wife Lindsey Kleber, who believed her husband injured their daughter. Two years later, Lindsey Kleber was convicted of kidnapping her husband and shooting him in the back.

On Oct. 7, 2010, Lindsey Kleber forced Steven Kleber to leave the Baptist Bible College campus at gunpoint.

Lindsey Kleber had met with Greene County prosecutors earlier that day, records say, and was afraid Steven Kleber might get probation for the alleged abuse of their daughter Mya. Lindsey Kleber was sentenced to three years in prison.

Family members say Maya suffered permanent brain damage and still suffers from seizures.

About shaken baby syndrome

According to the Centers for Disease Control, shaken baby syndrome occurs when a baby is shaken, resulting in a "whiplash" effect with the head.

The center says the shaking can lead to internal injuries, including bleeding in the brain or in the eyes.

Shaken baby syndrome is a form of a traumatic brain injury — which is simply a bump, blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain.

Children from birth to 1 year old are most at risk.

Dad's sentence for assaulting 6-week-old daughter is doubled on appeal; inflicted at least 15 fractures and a brain injury (Sydney, Australia)

So now UNNAMED DAD will serve at least 4 years instead of 2....

http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/2634757/shaken-baby-sentence-doubled-on-appeal/?cs=12

Father's sentence for shaking his baby doubled on appeal

By STEPHANIE GARDINER Oct. 19, 2014, 5:47 p.m.

A young Sydney father who was jailed after he "lost control" and violently shook his six-week-old daughter in frustration has had his sentence doubled, after an appeal court found the baby's crying did not reduce his moral culpability.

The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was sentenced to at least two years' jail in December for assaulting his daughter twice, causing at least 15 fractures and a brain injury.

During his trial in the NSW District Court, a jury heard he twisted the baby's limbs and violently shook her while his wife was out of their Sydney house on two afternoons in July 2011.

According to court documents, during the first assault, the father "took out his anger over his financial woes and his frustrations generally on his six-week-old baby".

After initially denying he was responsible for the baby's injuries, the father, then aged 20, told police that, during the second assault, he was feeling frustrated and angry about money and was missing his extended family, who lived far away.

The father said: " I just ... I lost control of myself and just shook my baby instead."

The District Court heard that at the time of the assaults, the father weighed 170 kilograms and the baby weighed 4.6 kilograms.

The jury found the man guilty of two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and he was sentenced to a maximum four-year term.

In sentencing the father, Judge Martin Blackmore said: "Unlike their first child, [the baby] was apparently quite a noisy and somewhat difficult baby.

"Such behaviour in a child is challenging even for mature and experienced parents, which certainly the offender was not. It has to be recognised that a parent is capable of lashing out in frustration when dealing with a crying baby."

The Crown appealed on several grounds, including that there was insufficient evidence for Judge Blackmore to find that the baby was crying at the time of the assaults, a conclusion that reduced the father's moral culpability.

The trial had heard relatives describe the infant as a "screamer", "annoying", and as having "a good set of lungs on her", but there was no evidence about the timing of her behaviour, the Court of Criminal Appeal found.

In the judgment handed down on Friday, Justice Peter Garling said: "The Crown, in my view, is correct to submit that the sentencing judge regarded this finding as lessening the respondent's moral culpability for the offence that occurred.

"His Honour's specific reference to the capacity of a parent to lash out in frustration 'when dealing with a crying baby', is a direct finding of fact that this is what occurred in these circumstances.

"This was an erroneous finding. The evidence did not permit that finding to be made."

Justice Garling also agreed with the Crown's argument that the judge erred in considering the objective seriousness of the crime, and also in the structure and length of his sentence.

Justice Lucy McCallum and Justice Clifton Hoeben agreed with his ruling.

The father was resentenced to at least four years' jail, with a maximum term of seven years. He will be eligible for parole in September 2017. The court heard that the baby's injuries did not lead to any permanent disability.