Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dad found guilty in shaking death of 3-month-old daughter (Scottsbluff, Nebraska)

Same old standard story here. Dad JOHN CHAVEZ was "caretaking" while the mother was working. He got "frustrated" because the baby was crying and shook her. The baby developed breathing problems from the brain damage and died.

This baby was only 3-months old. When are we going to establish decent maternity leaves for moms in this country? When are we going to stop assuming that (unemployed or underemployed) daddies make good caretakers? They don't!

Dad found guilty in baby's death

SCOTTSBLUFF — A jury deliberated for six hours before convicting a Scottsbluff father in the shaking death of his 3-month-old daughter.

John Chavez, 36, was found guilty last week of committing intentional child abuse resulting in death in the April 20 death of Aubrey Chavez.

Tammy Rood, the mother of the baby girl, said that she was pleased with the verdict and that “justice was served for Aubrey.”

In closing arguments, prosecutor and Assistant Attorney General Doug Warner said Chavez had been acting frustrated with the child's crying on April 19 and 20.

Rood testified that the child was fine when she left for work. She believed the child to be sleeping when she returned about an hour and a half later. She contacted 911 when she discovered the baby looked pale. She testified she picked the baby up and discovered Aubrey wasn't breathing.

Although Chavez admitted to police that he had shaken the child “once, maybe twice,” Warner said her injuries weren't consistent with a gentle shake.

“This child was forcibly grabbed, forcibly shaken, forcibly squeezed … and her breathing stopped,” Warner said.

In closing statements, defense attorney Richard DeForge said the prosecution had not proven that Chavez had caused the infant's injuries. He placed blame on the mother, saying that she had been alone with the child for more than an hour before the 911 call.

A sentencing date has not been set, but Chavez faces up to life in prison. The minimum sentence on the child abuse charge is 20 years in prison.

— World-Herald News Service