Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Primary caretaker" dad on trial for beating death of 5-month-old son (Jacksonville, Florida)

Another case where Mom is blamed (and accepted blame)--even though she was never charged with abusing the baby and had been working for the seven weeks before the baby's beating death. Meanwhile, dad CORDERO ANTHONY WEBBER had taken on the job as "primary caretaker." She had the misfortune, it appears, of believing Daddy's lies about the baby's injuries.

But of course mothers are trashed these days if they don't encourage and exalt "father involvement" and thorough suppress any independent judgement or maternal instincts.

Plus, as a mother, you are totally screwed if you ever allow the father to assume "primary caretaking" responsibilities. If you attempt to leave the abuser deadbeat, you will assuredly lose child custody. Especially in Florida.

http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2013-05-16/story/jury-decide-if-father-guilty-beating-killing-5-month-old-son

Jury to decide if father is guilty of beating, killing 5-month-old son

Posted: May 16, 2013 - 12:46pm

By Larry Hannan

A jury will begin deliberating Thursday afternoon on the fate of a Jacksonville man accused of beating, neglecting and murdering his 5-month-old-son.

Cordero Anthony Webber, 24, is accused of first-degree murder and child neglect in the death of Cordero Webber Jr.

An autopsy showed the baby died of head trauma, and had suffered broken ribs, atrophied muscles and abrasions on his face. The infant also was malnourished with no body fat.

If convicted of first-degree murder, he will be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. But the jury does have the option of convicting him of second-degree murder or manslaughter.

Assistant State Attorney Rich Mantei said Webber repeatedly abused his son over a four- to eight-week period before he died in November 2011.

“The last few minutes of Cordero Webber Jr.’s life were spent in profound pain,” Mantei said. “And the last thing he saw was the person who had sired him.”

The child was already dead when police and fire arrived five minutes after the boy’s mother had called 911 and had probably been dead for awhile, Mantei said.

During an autopsy doctors found signs of abuse going back months, including broken ribs that were in the process of healing and multiple head traumas.

The infant’s brain was also half as big as it should have been, a sign that he was malnourished and had stopped growing, Mantei said.

“We are talking about a child who had already suffered three to five massive head injuries,” Mantei said. “It was blunt trauma to the head by a defendant that was 350 pounds.”

At the time of his arrest, Webber told police that he thought his son was autistic because he couldn’t hold his head up and would always look down and to the right. Mantei said that frustration over his son was one of the reasons for the abuse.

The boy’s mother, Kierra Monet Hayes Laird, 24, pleaded guilty last year to child neglect and testified against Webber. She asked him about the injuries their son had and the father told her he hadn’t noticed anything.

Defense attorney James Hernandez said Laird was responsible for the abuse and is blaming Webber to get a lesser sentence.

The child showed signs of injury for months, and Laird is being self-serving by claiming she believed Webber when he said he didn’t know what was happening, Hernandez said.

At one point Laird suggested to Webber their son had beg bugs, which shows she was trying to come up with an alibi for what was happening, he said.

“Ms. Hayes Laird was frustrated with my client and frustrated that her baby was autistic,” Hernandez said. “There is reasonable doubt that my client committed this offense.”

But Mantei pointed out that Laird had a job and Webber was the primary caretaker of the baby.

“She got a job in September about seven weeks before the baby was killed,” Mantei said. “The bruises started appearing in late September and early October.”

Laird is scheduled to be sentenced the week of June 17 and faces up to 15 years in prison.

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