Yet another case where we have a mother working outside the home and a "primary caretaker" father who doesn't have a clue how to do infant care. She "laughed" when he'd throw her? You're delusional, dude. This baby had 18 broken bones in various states of healing from daddy's "playing." She eventually died from a ruptured bowel. Seems Daddy also has a problem with booze and pot, too. Yea, just what you want for a primary caretaker. A really stupid drunk and pothead. Sorry, for all the media glorification, this guy is more typical of a lot of "stay-at-home" fathers than not.
Father said he tossed infant into the air
By Bob Gardinier Staff Writer
Published: 12:33 p.m., Tuesday, August 24, 2010
TROY -- A Hoosick Falls man told investigators he often threw his infant daughter up in the air and caught her and that may be how she was fatally injured.
''It would make her laugh,'' Joseph McElheny, 31, allegedly told State Police investigators according to documents on file in Rensselaer County Court.
Earlier this month, McElheny was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and assault and endangering the welfare of a child for the May 12 death of his 4-month-old daughter, Ina Jane.
Authorities said the infant had 18 broken bones in various stages of healing and suffered a ruptured bowel that led to her death shortly after arrival at Albany Medical Center Hospital.
Rensselaer County Public Defender Jerome Frost, who represented McElheny at his arraignment, said he had reviewed the baby's autopsy results and said a burst lower intestine could be caused naturally two or three different ways in an infant.
On Monday, Judge Andrew Ceresia denied bail to McElheny, who told investigators he did not hurt his daughter.
The baby's mother, Melinda Anders, worked at Staples in Bennington, Vt. McElheny, who ran a computer business out of his home, provided ''90 percent'' of the care of his daughter, he told investigators.
The father also told investigators he about several incidents in which the baby was injured: when McElheny fell in the stairway of his 3 River St. home while carrying her; when the family's dog jumped on her; and when her father took her out of her chair and her leg popped.
''I would grab her by one hand and lift her out of her music chair and she never complains,'' McElheny told investigators. ''I could be labeled as handling her rough by her mother.''
McElheny gave investigators a long statement repeatedly denying he hurt the child but stopped talking after investigators pointed out discrepancies in his statement.
He repeatedly told investigators he once had a drinking problem but stopped drinking just before the child was born. When confronted by a statement given to investigators by his wife, McElheny admitted Anders had recently threatened to kick him out of the house if he didn't stop drinking.
''He makes a lot of mistakes,'' Anders told investigators, according to statement on file. ''He's a pothead.''
Investigators also discovered that McElheny told his wife he drank because he was a sniper and killed people during an Army stint from 1998 to 2002, before they met. In fact, he was a communications specialist in the military.
When investigators revealed to him the lies and asked him if he was being untruthful about his daughter, McElheny ended the interview, records show.
''If he killed my baby, I'm the only one he will tell,'' Anders told investigators.
McElheny remains in Rensselaer County Jail pending trial.
Bob Gardinier can be reached at 454-5696 or by e-mail at email@example.com.