Father sent to prison for shaking a baby so badly she may never fully recover
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 5:05 PM
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 5:59 PM
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Karmen Suchodolski got less than three weeks of life as a fully-able child before her enraged father shook her so violently, she cannot even take food from a bottle.
Michael David Suchodolski was sentenced today to five to 15 years in prison after Kent County Circuit Judge Donald Johnston heard from Karmen’s mother about the extent of her injuries suffered Oct. 5.
“She will not be a normal baby,” said Samantha Johnson, the mother of the now 6-month-old infant. “She can’t move her arms or her legs normally.”
“She may never recover,” Johnson said as the 26-year-old father watched from the other side of the courtroom in Kent County Jail garb and handcuffs.
Johnson said the baby is fed through a tube, has to wear glasses and has to have physical therapy. Johnson now refers to the baby as Karmen Johnson, although court records list her last name the same as her father's.
Johnson said her other children are devastated both by the injuries suffered by their little sister and the absence of their father. She said they ask about their father and she struggles to come up with an explanation.
Johnson said Karmen’s older brother is now frightened of men, even his uncles, as a result of the abuse of his baby sister.
Suchodolski offered little in the way of explanation for his behavior. Johnson said he was upset because he wanted a son not a daughter.
Last month, he pleaded guilty to first-degree child abuse.
“I’m just really sorry for everything that’s happened,” was all Suchodolski said as the mother of his two children wept.
Johnston said while he credits Suchodolski for taking responsibility with his guilty plea, he still can’t look beyond the fact that this child may suffer permanent injuries