Notice all the defenders for dad CHRISTOPHER DURANT. Excuses and denial of male violence--especially by fathers--is very common. Had a mother killed her baby in this way, she would have been denounced as an unfeeling demon ready for the stake.
04/05/2012 05:24 PM
Father accused of shaking baby to death accepts plea deal
By: Kate Gaier
A father accused of shaking his baby to death took a plea deal in Mecklenburg County court Thursday. Christopher Durant was sentenced to 21 to 27 years for second-degree murder and felony child abuse. He shook his four-month-old son, C.J., to death in 2011.
CHARLOTTE – A father accused of shaking his baby to death took a plea deal in Mecklenburg County Court Thursday.
Christopher Durant was sentenced to 21 to 27 years for second-degree murder and felony child abuse. He shook his four-month-old son, C.J., to death in 2011.
Durant told investigators his son CJ wouldn't stop crying so he shook him eight or nine times, in an effort to scare the baby. It worked, but only for a minute. When C.J. started crying again, Durant said he shook him harder.
"I do believe it is out of character because of the things that occurred prior to that day,” said the baby's mother, Erolyn Sweeney. “He was a very loving father and he did care for him and was always able to take care of him without my concern."
Sweeney said Durant was never violent, never hurt her other son, A.J. It may be hard for many to understand, but Sweeney said she's forgiven the man who killed their child.
"I've never had any hatred, anger, no animosity in my heart for him whatsoever," said Sweeney.
Prosecutors said Durant tried to revive the child and called 911. Hospital staff reported head injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome. They also said C.J. had fresh and healing broken ribs.
"I have no idea what happened, I wish we did,” said Durant's sister, Angela, outside of court. “I can tell you this, whatever happened it wasn't intentional."
Durant said her older brother is a loving father, and would never intend to hurt any of his children.
Sweeney took her situation and turned it into something to help others. She held a walk last year to honor C.J. and plans to do it again this November.
She said she's trying to raise awareness about shaken baby syndrome.