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Crime & Cases November 23, 2012  RSS feed

Elmhurst Dad Admits To Killing Child

Fatally Shook Infant Daughter

A 28-year-old Queens man who admitted to violently shaking his crying infant daughter last May has pleaded guilty to felony assault and will be sentenced to 14 years in prison.

The child, who suffered permanent life-threatening injuries, remains on life support.

Isrrael Garcia, 28, of 41st Avenue in Elmhurst, pleaded guilty on Monday,

Nob. 19 to first-degree assault before Queens Supreme Court Justice Elisa S. Koenderman, who indicated that she would sentence Garcia to a determinate term of 14 years in prison when sentenced on Dec. 10.

In addition, he has agreed to make an educational video on shaken baby syndrome in the hopes of keeping other parents from making the same mistake.

“Shaken Baby Syndrome is the leading cause of child abuse deaths each year. Its victims are innocent and helpless children, often injured by those charged to protect them,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement. “In this case, the infant suffered severe brain and eye injuries, multiple rib fractures and various bruises on her left foot and back. Despite increased efforts by medical and law enforcement personnel to educate the public on the dangers of shaking a baby, we are still seeing far too many cases of children dying or being permanently disabled, both mentally and physically, at the hands of their care givers. Under no circumstances should a baby be shaken.”

According to the charges, the infant, Maria Gordillo, who was born on Mar. 12, arrived at the emergency room at Elmhurst Medical Center on May 28 in an unresponsive condition and was thereafter transferred to New York University Hospital.

Medical tests revealed the infant to be suffering from multiple subdural hematomas (bleeding on the brain), retinal hemorrhages in the left eye (bleeding in the eye), old and new brain injuries (resulting from trauma and oxygen deprivation to the brain), multiple old rib fractures and various bruises on her left foot and back.

According to the criminal complaint, doctors who examined the infant determined that the injuries were consistent with non-accidental inflicted abusive head trauma (including shaken baby syndrome) which occurs when a baby is repeatedly and violently subjected to acceleration and deceleration rotational forces with or without impact that cause brain damage which may result in permanent brain injury or death. In addition, doctors determined that the nature and extent of the baby’s rib fractures were consistent with an adult grabbing the baby around the torso and forcefully squeezing the rib cage.

According to the complaint, Garcia, who is the baby’s biological father, admitted that in early May he came home from work tired and frustrated, heard the baby crying, forcefully grabbed and squeezed Gordillo around her torso and moved her repeatedly in an up and down motion. Garcia said that he believed he injured the baby’s ribs at that time but did not tell anyone.

Finally, according to the complaint, Garcia admitted that on May 28, he was home alone with the baby when she woke up from a nap and began to cry. Garcia then forcefully grabbed Gordillo and shook her repeatedly for approximately three minutes until she stopped crying and appeared to go to sleep.

Garcia admitted that he saw Gordillo ’s head moving backward and forward and that thereafter the baby stopped breathing and went limp. Garcia then admitted that he attempted to revive the baby and called 911.

The case was investigated by detectives assigned to the New York City Police Department’s Queens Child Abuse Squad.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Leigh Bishop, of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau, prosecuted the case under the supervision of Marjory D. Fisher, bureau chief, and Kenneth M. Appelbaum and Lucinda C. Suarez, deputy bureau chiefs, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Charles A. Testagrossa and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.