Monday, May 23, 2011

"Caring" dad found guilty of abusing infant daughter (Carlsbad, New Mexico)

Dad ARTHUR "TREY" MCCLINTOCK III has been found guilty of abusing his infant daughter. Notice that although the baby's seizures only took place when dad was "caring" for her, Mom has lost custody to CPS anyway. On one hand, we admonish young mothers to not be selfish, and to co-parent and "share" with the fathers. Then we punish them and hold them responsible when they do so, after the father acts out violently....

Man found guilty of child abuse involving family member
By Matlin Smith
Current-Argus Staff Writer
Posted: 05/20/2011 09:55:06 PM MDT

CARLSBAD — A 19-year-old father was found guilty in District Court on Friday of child abuse involving his infant daughter.

After two full days of testimony and a morning of deliberation, jurors found Arthur "Trey" McClintock III guilty of child abuse resulting in great bodily harm.

McClintock, represented by Shawn Lunsford, testified at the trial on Thursday, saying he may have used "too much force" with his daughter, Baylee McClintock.

When asked, McClintock said Baylee's birth, after a planned pregnancy with Baylee's mother, Sharon Lactaoen, was the "proudest moment" in his life.

The defendant said on March 6, 2010, when Baylee was 3 months old, she was napping when she suddenly began screaming uncontrollably. Baylee had reportedly begun having seizures when she was 3 weeks old, and McClintock said she appeared to be having another one.

He told the court that he put cold water on her head before trying to call Lactaoen for help. Failing to reach her or her parents, he ran outside yelling for help and a neighbor called 911.

According to a previous report in the case, Baylee was flown to a Lubbock, Texas, hospital where a CT scan revealed multiple subdural hemorrhages in her head in various stages of healing. She was found to have bleeding into the brain and swelling of the brain. She also had a skull fracture and hemorrhaging in the retinas of her eyes, leaving her permanently blind although possibly responsive to some light.

According to McClintock, Baylee had been taken to the hospital twice before in January 2010 for similar seizures.

Baylee's white and pink-clad crib was placed in front of jurors, and Lunsford asked McClintock to use a toy teddy bear to show how hard he placed Baylee into the bed in an earlier instance. McClintock obliged, dropping the bear onto the mattress.

In closing statements from the state, Assistant District Attorney Robert Perozynski said the only times Baylee had seizures were when she was in the care of McClintock."He told you he slammed her into the bed," said Perozynski, adding that medical examiners said her injuries were trauma-related.

According to one of the state's witnesses, a representative from the Children, Youth and Families Department, Baylee, now 16 months old, is developing more slowly than other children her age.

"This was not an accident, this was someone who could not control themselves," Perozynski concluded.

Lunsford pointed out that McClintock was "only guilty" of being a caring and concerned father who rushed Baylee to the hospital at any sign of trouble.

Lunsford said the injuries were so massive that they could have only been caused by a force equivalent to a car wreck - not the small drop onto a 6-inch padded mattress like the one McClintock demonstrated. Lunsford said the injuries could also possibly be from an undiagnosed medical condition.

The defense concluded by saying "the path of least resistance is not always the truth."

According to a previous report, Carlsbad police began an investigation after emergency medical personnel were called to McClintock's home in the 2700 block of Eunice in response to a baby having seizures.

These injuries indicated non-accidental trauma, and hospital staff notified the Carlsbad Police Department.

During his interview with Detective Sgt. Chris Kohler, who testified in the case, McClintock described how he had treated the baby during other seizures. He said he had left bruises on the child when he pinched her to keep her from falling asleep during a seizure. Once, he said, he held her the wrong way, and because of his size - 6 feet tall and weighing 300 pounds - he left bruises on her shoulders.

McClintock's stories to police changed several times. Police also learned from the mother that every time Baylee had experienced injuries, she was under her father's care. In fact, Lactaoen quoted McClintock as asking, "Why does this keep happening when she's with me?"

Eventually, McClintock admitted that he was the cause of Baylee's condition, but he did not want to come forward with the information because he was afraid of losing his daughter and afraid of going to jail, said the report.

District Judge Thomas A. Rutledge, who presided over the case, set sentencing for June 17.