We're supposed to believe that dad CHASE CASCIO beat the baby to death because he and the mother had different upbringings? Hogwash. This was a dude with a history of violence who beat a baby to death--probably because he was "frustrated." At least, that's what usually comes out in these cases. These guys have no patience or nurturing skills--and that combined with tremendous strength becomes a deadly combination. Given the healing rib fractures, this fatal attack was not the first time Daddy had abused the baby either.
Father convicted of negligent homicide in infant's death6:43 PM, May. 15, 2012
Written by Amritha Alladi
A jury on Tuesday found Chase Cascio guilty of negligent homicide in the death of his 2-month-old son, who was killed in June 2009.
After about five hours of deliberation, the jury came back with the guilty verdict that could put Cascio in prison for two to five years, said prosecuting attorney Josephine Heller.
The verdict on Tuesday followed closing arguments by both sides, focusing on whether it was Cascio who beat and shook the baby, whether he intended to harm the baby, the believability of witness testimonies and the timing of events.
Prosecutors Heller and Nick Anderson told the jury that Cascio had a violent past, had been quoted saying “everyone has a breaking point” and that pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Jose Bermudez had testified that the injuries the baby suffered were consistent with those caused by blunt force trauma less than an hour or so before the baby was sent to the hospital.
Anderson argued Cascio had reached his breaking point at home, with the increasing arguments he had gotten into with his wife stemming from their different upbringings and financial struggles.
Anderson said witnesses such as the baby’s mother, great-grandmother and a family neighbor had testified that the baby had seemed happy days and hours before he was in Cascio’s care.
But defense attorney Darrell Oliveaux suggested the injuries could have happened much earlier, perhaps when the baby was in the care of a different family member. He said Bermudez, who had testified about the injuries, later deferred expert opinion regarding when the injuries could have occurred to forensic pathologist Dr. Frank Peretti of the Arkansas Crime Lab.
Peretti told the court the bleeding and injuries could have happened hours or days earlier, Oliveaux told the jury. He added that Peretti had said the baby didn’t have neck injuries consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome, so the shaking of the baby and patting of its back to which Cascio had admitted was in an attempt to help the baby, who was already choking, Oliveaux said. He added that the symptoms the baby displayed when Cascio was caring for his son — loss of consciousness, irritability, respiratory arrest — were consistent with injuries the baby could have received hours or days earlier, according to expert testimony.
The News-Star files state that on June 3, 2009, an ambulance took the child from Cascio’s residence to Glenwood Regional Medical Center’s emergency room. The infant was sent to the pediatric intensive care unit at St. Francis North Hospital later because the injuries were too serious.
The attending physician discovered large quantities of blood surrounding the infant’s brain and subdural hematoma. The attending physician noted that the infant was not responsive and not breathing on his own, reports stated.
The physician reportedly associated the injuries with Shaken Baby Syndrome, although the doctor noted that the baby also had broken ribs, but that the injury was older and healing.
An investigation into the incident revealed that the infant was in Cascio’s care when he made the 911 call for assistance.
Jurors were asked to find the defendant guilty of second-degree murder, guilty of manslaughter, guilty of negligent homicide or not guilty.