I'm not sure how many of you realize this, but there is a strong strain in the fathers rights movement, especially in the conservative strains, that denies that shaken baby syndrome (abusive head trauma) even exists. It's sort of similar to their usual denial of science: that evolution doesn't exist, that Adam and Eve ran around with the dinosaurs, that the bodies of raped women have some mystical capacity to "shut down" a pregnancy.
This case illustrates how bogus that really is. As is usual in these cases, we have a male caretaker, a father (that's one reason the fathers' rights people want to deny that shaken baby syndrome exists. It's because virtually every study on the matter shows that men are the main perpetrators, particularly fathers, even though men represent a minority of active infant caretakers overall).
This father ADMITS he violently shook the baby, and then DID NOTHING in terms of seeking out medical care, even when he could tell something was "wrong" with the baby. As we see in these cases again and again, no medical care was sought until the WORKING MOM CAME HOME.
Despite all the fluffy articles on middle-class daddies who turn stay-at-home, there are a substantial number of dudes like BRENNAN KNOWLES. Short-tempered, violent (often deadbeat) men who become enraged over normal infant crying. Meanwhile, mothers are denied decent maternity leaves so they can take care of their babies. So this is what we're left with. Moms trying to pick up the pieces after a full day at work. And babies dying as a result.
Are some men capable of doing infant care? Certainly. But there are many who are not, and we need to stop pretending that these often unemployed/unemployable deadbeat dads are the same as a nurturing mother. They're not. Typically they make bad caretakers for the same reasons they can't get or keep a job: because they're "easily frustrated" goons.
Man denied bail request in Orlando shaken-baby case
5:33 p.m. EST, August 21, 2012|By Jeff Weiner, Orlando Sentinel
Brennan Knowles, an Orlando man accused of fatally shaking his crying baby in 2010, will continue to await trial behind bars after a judge on Tuesday rejected his latest request for bail.
Knowles, 25, has been in jail since November. He faces charges of aggravated child abuse, second-degree murder and aggravated manslaughter of a child in the death of Camron Knowles.
Authorities were called to Knowles' home in January 2010 after the boy's mother arrived home from work and realized something was wrong. Camron was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center in critical condition and put on a ventilator.
Knowles told investigators he had gone to check on the 4-month-old hours earlier because the child was screaming. According to police reports, Knowles confessed that he shook the boy.
He also admitted that "when he checked on the victim [after shaking him], he knew something was wrong but did not think to seek medical attention for the victim," a police report states.
Knowles was initially arrested on abuse and neglect charges and released on bond, but he was jailed again later after Camron died from his injuries in June 2011 and prosecutors added murder and manslaughter charges.
At a bond hearing Tuesday, Assistant Public Defender Felix Felicier argued that Knowles doesn't have a record and has never missed a court date. Family members testified he'd have a stable place to live with a family friend if released.
"He showed that he had respect for the judicial system," Felicier told Circuit Judge Heather Rodriguez. "He has no prior criminal history."
However, prosecutor William Jay countered that nothing substantial has changed since Knowles was last denied bond and the evidence against him is strong.
The brain-damaged child died, Jay said, "after suffering horribly for a year and a half." Rodriguez denied the motion. The case is set for trial in December. Knowles faces up to life in prison if convicted as charged.