Thursday, October 23, 2014

Trial dates set for dad charged with assault by strangulation of 3-month-old daughter

Another daddy who got frustrated while Mom was away.

Dad is identified as GARRETT D. GWIZDALA.

Trial dates set for Bay City father charged with child abuse in 3-month-old daughter's injuries

By Cole Waterman |on October 22, 2014 at 12:40 PM

BAY CITY, MI — If he doesn't accept a plea offer beforehand, a 24-year-old Bay City father charged with a life offense in his baby daughter's alleged abuse is set to face a trial.

Jury selection in the trial of Garrett D. Gwizdala is to begin the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 2, before Bay County Circuit Judge Harry P. Gill. In the event that date doesn't work out, the trial will instead commence Tuesday, Jan. 13.

Gwizdala is charged single counts of first- and second-degree child abuse and assault by strangulation. First-degree child abuse is punishable by up to life imprisonment, while the other two counts are 10-year felonies.

Earlier in October, prosecutors made Gwizdala the offer that if he pleads guilty or no contest to first-degree child abuse and assault by strangulation, they'll dismiss the second-degree child abuse charge.

Gwizdala's charges stem from an incident that occurred at his residence in the 3400 block of North Euclid Avenue the afternoon of Wednesday, June 25. According to police, Gwizdala called 911 at 5:32 p.m., requesting medical attention for his daughter who was not breathing.

A Bay County Sheriff's deputy heard the call go out and responded to the house as well. Gwizdala initially said he was lying on a couch with the baby on his chest, and that the child fell off and landed face-down on the floor, Undersheriff Troy Cunningham previously said.

"He later made admissions to what really happened, and we learned his original story was completely false," Cunningham said, adding the child's mother was not home at the time of the alleged incident.

Cunningham said Gwizdala told detectives he knowingly hurt the child. Gwizdala told detectives he obstructed the child's breathing and was upset because she wouldn't stop crying, Cunningham said.

The baby was taken via ambulance to McLaren Bay Region hospital and later transferred to Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw for further treatment, according to police reports. Cunningham said the baby had injuries that indicated prior abuse.

Gwizdala previously served a three-year probation term after pleading guilty to second-degree home invasion, a crime he committed in October 2008. He was discharged from probation on Feb. 1, 2012.