Thursday, August 27, 2015

Dad to go on trial for blinding 4-month-old daughter (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

Dad is identified as CORNELIUS SHANKLIN.

Oklahoma Father Accused Of Shaking Baby To Blindness Will Stand Trial
Posted: Aug 26, 2015 6:54 PM EST Updated: Aug 26, 2015 7:53 PM EST
Lori Fullbright, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa man must stand trial for child abuse after prosecutors say he shook his 4-month-old daughter so hard, she’s now blind.

A detective and a doctor testified against Cornelius Shanklin on Wednesday, and the judge ruled there's enough evidence for him to go to trial.

About a dozen members of the baby’s family showed up to support the case in court and they all wore matching T-shirts that say “Justice for MaAliyah."

MaAliyah's family members filled two rows inside the courtroom as they listened to the testimony of a child crisis detective and a pediatrician who specializes in abuse cases.

MaAliyah's mother, Mandy, waited outside the courtroom doors, ready to testify if needed against her husband.

The detective says Shanklin told police he was watching his daughter and toddler son the night MaAliyah was injured, and he could tell she had a skull fracture and didn't look right and wouldn't stop crying.

He told police he was upstairs and thought maybe she rolled off her pillow and hit her head or their son did something to her.

A pediatrician says MaAliyah did have a skull fracture in the back of her head, bleeding in her brain and both her retinas were detached.

She testified someone would have to violently shake a baby and hit her head on something to cause those injuries.

She testified a toddler isn't strong enough or coordinated enough to shake a baby that hard, and even if a toddler dropped the baby, it would only cause bruising, not those injuries.

She also testified the baby could not at that age roll over or crawl, so couldn't cause the injuries herself.

She told the judge MaAliyah likely will be blind the rest of her life.

"She's innocent,” the pediatrician said. “She couldn't protect herself."

As it turned out, MaAliyah's mother was not called to testify, and she was relieved to learn the judge ordered her husband to stand trial.

In addition to the child abuse charge, a charge of child neglect also was added.

Prosecutors argued Shanklin did not get medical help for MaAliyah in a timely manner.