Monday, July 2, 2012

Dad accused of "twisting" 9-month-old daughter just for the fun of making her cry; baby has multiple fractures (Livingston County, Michigan)

Sounds like dad ROBERT GEORGE ALBERT has a sadistic streak that's about a mile wide. Though Mom has some serious problems too, like drug dependency, it appears that Daddy's abuse mostly took place when she was not home (working?).

Hamburg father twisted infant 'unnaturally' for his own amusement, friend testifies
Jun. 28, 2012
Written by Lisa Roose-Church, DAILY PRESS & ARGUS

A Hamburg Township father shook his daughter and twisted her "unnaturally" for his own amusement, a witness testified at a Wednesday hearing to determine if the father should be tried for child abuse.

Following the testimony, Livingston County District Judge L. Suzanne Geddis bound over Robert George Albert, 25, to Circuit Court for trial on a first-degree child abuse charge.

"I do find the defendant knowingly and intentionally caused physical harm to (the infant)," the judge said. "The description of him dropping the child on the couch, the description of him shaking the child and trying to flex the child ... is not something you would do to a 9-month-old child."

The infant was undergoing a routine examination in May when medical personnel discovered possible injuries.

Dr. Bethany Mohr, director of the Child Protection Team at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, testified that the infant suffered "multiple fractures" and hemorrhaging in her eyes that were indicative of child abuse.

Kyle Amwake, who said he has been friends with Albert since high school, described Albert as a man who enjoyed toying with his infant daughter just to hear her cry.

Amwake said Albert would pull a bottle out of his daughter's mouth during feeding and then replace it only to pull it out again because he wanted to hear her cry. He said the defendant called the infant a "greedy baby" as he toyed with her.

"It was almost like it was a game to him," Amwake said.

Amwake testified that Albert placed his hands on his daughter's shoulders and shook her, causing her head to wobble back and forth. The infant made "whoop" sounds, which Amwake described as an American Indian sound associated with the childhood game of Indian when a child taps fingers against an open mouth while making noise.

"Rob found this hilarious," he said.

Amwake also described incidents when Albert would put his daughter in "stress positions." He described this as Albert intentionally placing the infant's ankles next to her head and pushing her knees onto her chest. He said Albert claimed he was helping his daughter "stretch," and that it was what he was "supposed to do."

"He would crush all the air out of her," Amwake testified. "She was silent and when he stopped, she would cry her eyes out. It was disturbing. ... It was not a normal baby cry. It was absolute agony and pain, crying her eyes out."

Amwake said Albert abused the child only when the infant's mother was not at home. He said he witnessed this behavior "every day" between eight and 12 times a day. On cross-examination, Amwake clarified that every day meant each day he saw the defendant with his daughter.

Albert's brother, Erick Albert, also testified that he witnessed his brother drop the infant about 1 feet to 2 feet on the couch while changing her diaper and that she "bounced" and "cried uncontrollably."

In a second incident, Erick Albert said, his brother and the infant's mother would bind their daughter's arms during feeding times so she would not grab the spoon. He said the couple also left their daughter home alone when she was sleeping in her crib.

On cross-examination, both Amwake and Erick Albert admitted that neither called Child Protective Services or police to report the alleged child abuse.

"I didn't know what to do; I was scared," Erick Albert said.

Erick Albert also alleged that the infant's parents smoked synthetic cannabis known as K2 in front of their daughter.

Robert Albert, who did not testify during the preliminary exam, said he did not know using K2 was considered a violation of his probation until his probation officer told him otherwise.

The infant's mother, who did testify, said they smoked K2 when their daughter was in another room.

Her testimony ended, however, when she exercised her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself. That decision came on the advice of her attorney when the mother said that she "lied" when she told police she heard her daughter make a noise and banging noise when the defendant was with their daughter alone the night before taking her daughter to the doctor's appointment.

After the preliminary exam, Geddis sentenced Robert Albert to 93 days in the county jail for violating probation.

The prosecutor's office alleged Robert Albert used mood-altering substances, but he denied that allegation. The prosecutor's office also said the new alleged criminal behavior violated his probation. He was on probation for an impaired driving offense, according to court records.