No explanation here as to whether this weekend visitation plan was court-ordered. But the research is quite clear. Babies do not benefit in any way, shape, or form by being subjected to visitation plans, especially overnights and weekends. Babies like consistent care giving, which is one reason they are more likely to become "fussy" when traded around like a hot potato. Too many men just cannot deal with a crying infant...that's why fathers and boyfriends dominate as perpetrators of abusive head trauma.
The idea that a never married father should have weekend visitation with a baby is a fathers rights notion that has long outlived any usefulness. It belongs in the dust pan of Bad Ideas.
Dad is identified as JAMES N. DAVIS JR.
Father pleads guilty to shaking baby; to serve 10 years
Truck driver under pressure snapped
By Kim Kimzey
Published: Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 3:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 12:06 a.m.
A Wellford man admitted to shaking his infant daughter after he “snapped,” causing a life-threatening brain injury from which the child is still recovering.
James N. Davis Jr., 28, of 26 Springbrook Court, pleaded guilty Friday to felony child abuse inflicting great bodily injury.
Circuit Judge Derham Cole imposed the maximum 20-year sentence, suspended upon the service of 10 years and 5 years’ probation.
Davis said in court that he and the infant’s mother, Amy Owensby, had separated and he kept their child, Cheyenne, on the weekends.
Davis said on Aug. 17, Owensby told him that Cheyenne had been “fussy” that week. Davis said after dinner, he took Cheyenne to his home, laid her down and shut a door after she began crying.
He said she began screaming about half an hour later. He said he tried comforting her, but she continued to cry. He said that, along with other pressures he faced, pushed him over the edge.
“All that came crashing down. … I snapped. There’s no reason for it. I don’t know why I did it,” Davis said.
Seventh Circuit Assistant Solicitor Jennifer Jordan said in court that Davis called 911 dispatchers shortly before 7 p.m. and reported Cheyenne wasn’t breathing.
Jordan said the baby could be heard gasping for breath in the 911 call.
Jordan said Davis gave two statements to officers. Davis initially claimed he did not know what happened to his daughter.
In a second statement provided on Aug. 18, she said Davis stated that he tried bouncing, swaying and rubbing the infant’s head, but could not calm her down. Davis stated that he yelled at Cheyenne, asking why she had to be that way, Jordan said, before shaking her with such force that her jaw chattered three times and she began breathing heavily.
Jordan said Cheyenne was a perfectly healthy child broken in a moment of anger.
Cheyenne was unresponsive when an officer arrived at Davis’ home, according to a Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office incident report.
She was taken by helicopter to Greenville Memorial Hospital for treatment and spent a little more than two hours in surgery for brain injuries she sustained.
Cheyenne remained in the hospital for a month. One month after she was released, she was readmitted for another operation.
Jordan said Cheyenne has made “significant improvements” and is now eating. A feeding tube she has soon might be removed, Jordan added.
Yet, she still suffers. One side of her body has been affected. Jordan said that due to her young age, 16 months, the permanent physical, emotional and mental impacts are unknown and there’s no definite prognosis. Cheyenne continues to receive therapy and visit doctors.
Davis’ attorney, Timothy Ray, said Davis was a truck driver when the incident occurred and had worked 120 hours in the two weeks leading up to the incident.
“He told me he wanted to be Superman,” Ray said of Davis’ long work hours and determination to care for his daughter without others’ help.
Ray said Davis has suffered with guilt and is remorseful for a “split-second decision” that resulted in horrible consequences.
“What has hurt him the most is the struggles that his daughter has gone through,” Ray said.
Davis had no criminal record prior to abusing his daughter.
“This was something that was completely out of character,” Ray said.
Ray said that although Davis didn’t immediately confess, he did not hide his actions and immediately called 911.
No victims addressed the court. Owensby was in the courtroom with several supporters. Davis’ family also was there.
Davis’ voice cracked at times as he addressed Cole before sentencing.
Davis said he prays every night that God will heal and protect his daughter and that she won’t suffer for what he’s done.
“I love her so much,” Davis said.
He said he cried for hours after receiving a photograph of his daughter.
He also told Cole that upon learning he could possibly have supervised visitation if he completes parenting classes, anger management and other requirements, has a “glimmer of hope” that his daughter will forgive him and some day might be a “daddy’s girl.”
After the hearing, Jordan said, “I just hope that Cheyenne continues to improve.”
Those who love the toddler are certain she will.
“She’s a very determined baby who’s not going to give up fighting. She’ll fight to the end,” said Kandy Cannon, a family friend and Cheyenne’s “adopted aunt.”
Cannon said Cole’s ruling was fair, and justice was served.
Owensby would not comment.