The mother had only left the baby with dad SHAWN GALLANT for an hour and a half. But that was long enough for Daddy to get frustrated with the the crying of his 2-month-old son. The baby died from cardiac arrest brought on by blunt force trauma to the head. Note that Daddy blames his two jobs--and his own presumably abusive mother for his actions. Yup, it's always Mommy's fault....
Friday, September 24, 2010
Slain baby's mother share pain
By KYLE REA, QMI Agency
Last Updated: September 24, 2010 4:54am
ST. THOMAS, Ont. - Two and a half years after her infant son Lucas was killed by his father, Jennifer Rozell told court Thursday she's been robbed of her chance to be a mom.
"I can barely remember his cry or his smile . . . (He) was the most important person in my life and I don't feel normal anymore," Rozell said, struggling to keep her voice steady as she read her victim-impact statement in St. Thomas court.
"I feel like I've been robbed of my chance to be a mom. I'll never get to hear his giggle, have him hug me and call me 'Mom.'"
In an emotionally charged hearing, the baby's father, Shawn Gallant, 24, formerly of St. Thomas, was sentenced to three years after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of two-month-old Lucas Scott Rozell-Gallant.
Gallant confessed nearly two years later to a police officer he shook his infant son to stop him from crying.
"Taking the life of anyone is the ultimate offence of society. Taking the life of a defenceless child makes the offence even more unspeakable and despicable," said Ontario Court Justice Michael O'Dea. "Nothing this court does can ever reverse what he did."
Dressed in a brown hoodie, Gallant watched from the defendant's box. Assistant Crown attorney Doug Walker explained how the baby died in an agreed statement of facts.
On May 5, 2008, paramedics were called to 31 Parkside Dr. in St. Thomas, where they found Lucas without vital signs. He was taken to St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital before being transported to Victoria Hospital in London.
Doctors determined Lucas had suffered serious brain damage and wouldn't survive. He died May 7.
Walker explained on May 5, Jennifer Rozell went out around 4 p.m., leaving Gallant to look after Lucas. When she returned just before 5:30 p.m., Lucas was in the crib but had a blank stare and didn't respond when touched.
Gallant later told police he had accidentally bumped Lucas's head on a wall corner as he was taking him to the crib. He re-enacted the incident for investigating St. Thomas police officer Chris Perrin.
A 15-member doctors' panel that reviewed the cause of Lucas's death in January 2010 determined he died from cardiac arrest caused by blunt-force trauma to the head. They ruled his death a homicide, discovering a skull fracture on the left side, as well as an older injury on the right in addition to retinal hemorrhaging.
Perrin interviewed Gallant and Rozell again.
When pressed, Gallant admitted he had shaken his son "vigorously because he wouldn't stop crying," Walker said.
Gallant also told Perrin he had shaken him in April, too.
Gallant was arrested on Jan. 21 and remained in custody until Thursday's sentence.
"Certainly this is an extremely sad situation. Lucas and his family have paid for the result," said Walker.
Both sides agreed jointly on a three-year sentence. "Everybody agrees it was an enormous tragedy," said Gallant's lawyer, Robert Upsdell. "No amount of penalty is going to address the loss of a child."
Upsdell said his client comes from a broken home and may have suffered abuse at the hands of his mother. At the time of Lucas's death, Gallant was working two jobs: "He was completely ill-equipped for that role (taking care of Lucas) and is what led to this happening."
The incident, Upsdell continued, weighed "quite heavily" upon him.
"I constantly wondered if this was my fault," Rozell said in court.