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Crime & Cases March 7, 2013  RSS feed

Elmhurst Man Gets 20 Yrs. For Shaking Baby

Left Infant Daughter On Life Support

A 28-year-old Elmhurst man who admitted to violently shaking his crying infant daughter last May has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, prosecutors announced.

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

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown identified the defendant as Isrrael Garcia, 28, of 41st Avenue in Elmhurst, who pleaded guilty last November to first-degree assault before

Queens Supreme Court Justice Elisa S. Koenderman.

The judge sentenced Garcia last Monday, Feb. 25, to the determinate sentence of 20 years in prison.

“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,” Brown said. “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, 2012, arrived at the emergency room at Elmhurst Medical Center on May 28, 2012, 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 the baby 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, 2012, he was home alone with the baby and the baby woke up from a nap and started to cry. Garcia then forcefully grabbed the baby and shook her repeatedly for approximately three minutes until she stopped crying and appeared to go to sleep.

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

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.