Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Irritated dad shook 2-month-old daughter to make her "happy" (Shreveport, Louisiana)

Stats on child abuse deaths from Louisiana. Horrible stuff.

Irritated dad shook infant to make her 'happy'
8:12 AM, Aug. 24, 2011

Written by Alison Bath

There's a photograph of Kaydence Davis most people wouldn't want to see.

It features a brain-dead Kaydence. Her reddish-blond baby hair is partially shaved and fresh sutures are visible on her scalp.

There is a tube coming from her nose. She is wearing a neck brace and a tiny blood pressure cuff is on her right arm. It is one of the last photographs taken of the 2-month-old Doyline infant.

She died March 24, 2009 — a day after her father, James Edward Brewer, called 9-1-1 because Kaydence wasn't breathing.

Brewer, then 22, told Webster Parish Sheriff deputies that Kaydence fell off a bed, according to a sheriff's report. But investigators soon learned that Brewer, who was the only adult home at the time, wasn't telling the truth.

"It was learned that (the infant) had brain trauma and showed no sign of a fall but instead that it had been shaken," the report states.

The same year Kaydence was killed, another 43 Louisiana children also died as a result of abuse or neglect.
At least 219 of the state's children have died at the hands of abusers over the last 6 1/2 years, according to the latest statistics available from the Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services.

As a result, Louisiana ranks within the top 12 states in the country for child abuse deaths.

And like Kaydence, some of those children — such as 17-month-old Isabella Thamm and 21-day-old Christine Martorana — died after their caregivers became frustrated with their crying.

Isabella, a Bossier City toddler, was killed in 2008 after her father slammed her head into a doorjamb. Christine died in 2007 after her mother threw her across the room at the family's Princeton home.

Deputies responding to Brewer's call found "horrible" living conditions in the home he shared with his father, Larry Brewer, and Kaydence's mother, Jennifer Holmes Davis.

Marijuana, the prescription drug Xanax and "a large amount" drug paraphernalia were scattered throughout the residence, sheriff's records show. All were within easy reach of Davis' three other children, all under the age of 4.

James Brewer later admitted Kaydence didn't fall off the bed. He said he shook Kaydence to make her "happy," according to a March 26, 2009, Times story.

He eventually pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder and was sentenced in April to 20 years in prison.

Davis, who was at the store at the time Kaydence was injured, was convicted of failing to properly supervise her children — mainly due the drugs that were found in the home. She received a six-month suspended sentence.

She also was fined $500 and ordered to attended parenting classes.