Friday, February 26, 2010

Dad convicted in shaking death of 9-month-old son (Brighton, Colorado)

There are shaken baby stories...and then there are shaken baby stories. Dad JESSE SIFUENTES shook his 9-month-old son so severely that he literally severed the nerves in the baby's brain stem. It seems that Dad was alone with the baby (aren't they always?) when the baby "became unresponsive." He died three days later. As usual, the dad was "frustrated" because the baby was crying from teething pain.

Father Convicted In Shaken Baby Death
Prosecutors: Suspect Shook Son Who Was Teething, Crying

POSTED: 6:04 pm MST February 25, 2010
UPDATED: 6:18 pm MST February 25, 2010

BRIGHTON, Colo. -- A father has been convicted of killing his 9-month-old son by shaking the baby so severely it severed the nerves in his brain stem, prosecutors said.

Jesse Sifuentes, 21, shook the baby until the child "became unresponsive" because he was frustrated that the child was crying due to teething, prosecutors said. The baby died May 28, 2008, three days after the child was injured in a Thornton home. Sifuentes was alone with his son when the baby was shaken.

“As a mother, I understand the frustration of a crying baby. However, there are always options available to keep a child from harm," said Sarah Collins, chief deputy district attorney for Adams/Broomfield counties. "In this case, Sifuentes had the option to put his baby in a crib in another room where he would be safe. But instead he made another choice that ended tragically.”

Sifuentes claimed the baby was accidentally shaken while he was running with the child with his head unsupported.

The baby sustained severe injuries including severed nerves in his brain stem, spinal nerve root hemorrhages, subdural hematomas, retinal hematomas, retinal hemorrhages and bruises to his right ear and right arm. Prosecution experts testified that these types of injuries are not consistent with accidental shaking or the result of negligence.

Sifuentes was immediately taken into custody, where he will remain until sentencing on March 31. He faces 16 to 48 years in prison.