Monday, August 4, 2014

Dad gets jail for violently shaking 1-month-old daughter (St. Louis, Missouri)

Dad is identified as JOSHUA HOONSTRA. It's amazing that Mom kept custody. Quite often mothers lose their kids, even if they were out of the home during the assault.

St. Louis man gets jail for shaking his baby

By Linda Gittleman, The Morning Sun Posted: 08/04/14, 4:55 PM EDT | Updated: 6 secs ago

A 21 year old man pleaded no contest Monday in Gratiot County Circuit Court to shaking his month old daughter, causing serious injury.

 Joshua Hoonstra of St. Louis was sentenced to six months in jail and two years of probation.

The incident occurred last September, when both he and the baby’s mother were at home, said Gratiot County’s Chief Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Shepherd.

The couple had been sleeping and when they woke up, they saw that the baby was splitting up blood, Shepherd said.

Taken to the hospital, the baby was then airlifted to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.

“They suspected child abuse right away,” Shepherd said. “There was a perforation in the esophagus and that caused paralysis to the vocal chords.”

Along with the police, the Department of Human Services conducted an investigation, and three weeks after the incident, Hoonstra admitted to a DHS social worker that he had caused the injury.

“He was frustrated with her colic and he shook her,” Shepherd said.

The baby’s mother did not suspect Hoonstra, the biological father, of causing the injury and she had not witnessed the shaking, Shepherd said.

The child has recovered and is now in her mother’s custody, she said. The couple is no longer together.

Hoonstra was charged with third degree child abuse, a felony.

He has a history of prior alcohol-related misdemeanors, Shepherd said.