Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Full-time caretaker" dad sentenced to 15 years in prison for death of 4-month-old son (Logan, Utah)

This murder--which got plea bargained down to felony child abuse--was more than a little shaking. More than "just" shaken baby syndrome. This baby suffered broken bones as well as blunt force trauma to the head. And all we can hear is how "full-time caregiver" dad FRANCISCO JAVIER MARTINEZ was frustrated with his "daily grind."

Once again, it's too bad Mom couldn't have stayed home and taken care of the kids instead of having to work. There are so many of us moms who would love to stay at home with our babies, but we're prevented from doing so because we have to have the paycheck. So I really don't feel sorry for these guys. They need to get jobs. And if there are not enough jobs to get men back to work, then we need to create them. Right now, the percentage of working age men who have jobs is the lowest it's been since 1948. It's the children who are paying the price. Too many younger men are just not temperamentally suited to child care. They lack the patience, the nurturing skills. Plus, they have way too much upper body strength, strength they seriously underestimate when "slamming" babies down.

We initially posted on this case back in 2009.

North Logan man sent to prison for killing son
By Arrin Newton Brunson

Special to The Tribune

First published Aug 30 2011 05:50PM
Updated Aug 30, 2011 10:02PM

Logan • A North Logan man who fatally injured his 4-month-old son two years ago was sentenced Tuesday to prison for up to 15 years.

First District Court Judge Kevin Allen concurred with the recommendation of the Cache County Attorney’s Office that Francisco Javier Martinez serve no more than five years and that he receive credit for 21 months and 10 days already served in the Cache County Jail.

Martinez, 37, of North Logan, was initially charged with first-degree felony child abuse homicide and two other counts of child abuse for the November 2009 murder of his son, Jesus Yandel Martinez. But he agreed to a plea deal that resulted in a single, reduced second-degree felony child abuse homicide charge.

As part of that agreement, Martinez described and demonstrated to law enforcement officials and medical personnel the series of assaults on the infant beginning in October 2009 when he broke the baby’s leg, continuing a few weeks later when he broke two of his ribs and ending on Nov. 18, when the child died as a result of injuries to the brain from being slammed twice into Martinez’s lap.

Prosecuting attorney Andrew McAdams told the court that Martinez’ "full disclosure" about the abuses will be a powerful tool in the nationwide fight against child abuse known commonly as "shaken baby syndrome."

Martinez has described the incidents and demonstrated his abuses for law enforcement officials and doctors from Primary Children’s Medical Center, who will use the videotaped interviews to educate others, McAdams said. As part of the plea agreement, Martinez has also been ordered to participate in a public service announcement aimed at preventing child abuse in Latino families, where resources are often limited Martinez has provided information that will save lives, McAdams told the court.

"You can’t hurt a baby by letting the baby stay in the crib and cry. If you need to get out so that you don’t snap, go to your garage and let it cry for a half-hour…" McAdams said. "This type of case can and does happen to anybody — whether you are a criminal offender, whether you are a drug user or whether you are the most devout religious person on the planet. It can happen."

Defense attorney James J. Lee said the "daily grind" became difficult for Martinez, who was the full-time caregiver for his four children after he came to the United States illegally. Aside from the abuse of the infant son, Lee said Martinez was a loving husband and an affectionate father with no prior crimes, who cleaned the house and prepared the family’s meals.