Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dad on trial for abusing 2-month-old son; boy, now 4 years, is severely disabled (Pasco County, Florida)

Dad is identified as JONATHAN GELB. Apparently another working mom and "caretaker" dad who apparently didn't know jacksh** about caring for a baby. Or didn't care.

Pasco shaken baby trial begins with mother testifing against the child's father
Lukuz Gelb is almost 4, but severly handicapped

Posted: 11:31 AM
Last Updated: 1 hour and 34 minutes ago

• By: Erik Waxler

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. - Even before baby Lukuz Gelb was born, his mother already nicknamed him Lucky. She says he was the perfect little boy.

But in September 2008, when Lukuz was just two months old, Leann Rodriguez came home to where she lived in Port Richey and found her son wasn't breathing. Doctors told her the boy had severe brain injuries and broken bones in his legs.

"Worst case of shaken baby syndrome that they've seen in the state of Florida," Rodriguez was told.

Authorities soon arrested the man they say is responsible for hurting Lukuz. It wasn't a baby sitter or daycare worker --but the boy's own father, Jonathan Gelb.
Wednesday morning at the Pasco County courthouse in New Port Richey, testimony began in Gelb's trial. He is charged with aggravated child abuse.

The prosecution's first witness was Rodriguez, who calmly recalled the day she came home from work and found her son struggling to breath.

She says Gelb was sitting with the child on his lap and had not called 911.

The defense says Gelb was arrested because he was the only adult home at the time. And the child's condition is the result of health issues and mistakes made at the hospital.

Last summer at her home in Hudson, Rodriguez told me what she hoped for from the trial. "Whether he walks or not, I don't care but I want justice done for my son. I need to know what happened. And why this happened."

As for Lukuz, he turns four in July. Life isn't easy. The right side of his skull was removed, his vision is non-existent, and he eats through a feeding tube. "It's difficult to wake up every morning and see one of your own like this."

Doctors aren't sure about his future. "They've told us to enjoy the time that we have because he may not last very long."

Despite all he's gone through, Leann says Lukuz is a tough little boy. And just like when he was infant, his favorite spot is still resting his head on mom's shoulder.

The trial is expected to last three days.