Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Caretaker" dad convicted of 2nd-degree murder in death of 1-year-old daughter; gets 10 years in prison (Springfield, Missouri)

We've reported on "caretaker" dad KYLE BAYLOR before. At the time of the little girl's murder, he had been separated from the girl's mother, who was then living elsewhere. For some reason, Daddy had been acting as "caretaker" for the week before the murder--whether this was by court order or informal agreement has never been explained.

What is typical is that Daddy got "frustrated" by all the baby crying and acted out. In fact, "the acting" out killed the child. This kind of shaken baby/abusive head trauma--as we have mentioned many, many times before--is most commonly found among fathers, followed by other male caretakers. Whether you want to blame nature or nurture doesn't much matter to me. Most young, healthy human males do not not interact with babies in the same way that mothers, grandmothers, and other women do. Yes, I know there are evil women on drugs and so forth who do all kinds of mean, nasty things. But as a basic generalization, this is true. Mothers tend to be more nurturing and attentive with babies than fathers. And yet we persist in thinking young guys like this can do infant caretaking for a week or more and that they'll be fine with that. Sure, exceptionally nurturing guys may be fine. But most are not equipped that way.

Interesting facts about this case. Three months before the shaking death/murder of the 1-year-old daughter, the family was visited by the Missouri Children's Division for "alleged" abuse against the 1-year-old's half sister, who was 2. The abuse was not substantiated, though an unidentified caller had described the abuse in some detail. What else is new....

Some other interesting observations about this case.

1) For all the fussy distinctions that are made between boyfriends and fathers, note that in this case, the father killed his own child and apparently "merely" abused his girlfriend's child.

2) Also note that not only was the mother was no longer living with Baylor at the time of the murder, she was in fact scheduled to start receiving child support for the 1-year-old. This wouldn't be the first time a father killed a child during "visitation" to avoid child support....

Father sentenced for baby's death
Springfield man gets 10 years for shaking death of one-year-old.

Jess Rollins • News-Leader • December 23, 2010

A Springfield man was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison for the death of his 1-year-old daughter.

Kyle Baylor, 25, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder as part of a plea agreement with Greene County prosecutors for violently shaking his infant daughter, causing her death Feb. 12.

"He was remorseful and he took responsibility from the very beginning," Assistant Prosecutor Jill Patterson said of the decision to make a deal.

The class A felony is punishable by 10 to 30 years or life in prison.

Baylor admitted shaking Vaniessa Baylor after getting frustrated with the girl's crying, according to court documents.

He showed police how he shook the girl -- described as "a violent shaking motion" in the probable cause statement -- and then threw her on the couch.

Baylor said he then covered the girl in a blanket and went to help another child he was taking care of in the bathroom.

He told police he heard her fall off the couch. When he found her unresponsive, he called police, only saying she had fallen.

According to the police incident report, the girl's eyes were open but she was not responding when officers arrived at the home at 920 E. Adams St.

Vaniessa was rushed to Cox South hospital Feb. 10, where she was treated for a subdural hematoma (bruising of the brain) and fluid buildup in her lungs.

She died in the hospital two days later.

Vaniessa's mother, Misty Dart, 22, was not at the home at the time. Kyle Baylor told police he had been the only caregiver for the week prior to the incident.

The Missouri Children's Division had been at the home of Kyle Baylor three months before the shaking incident to investigate allegations of abuse of another child in his care, but investigators did not find significant evidence of abuse.