This month, a 20-year-old Ypsilanti man was sentenced to life in prison for killing his four-month-old daughter in October of 2013. The murder of the young child stemmed from child abuse. In addition to the murder charge, he was also charged with first-degree child abuse. In Michigan, first-degree child abuse entails knowingly or intentionally causing serious physical or mental harm to a child. First-degree child abuse is a felony that could be punishable by life in prison, or any term of years as decided by the court.
The four month old, when found unresponsive in the home, had a fractured skull, fractured ribs, hemorrhaging, and a lacerated liver. The autopsy determined that the child's brain showed signs of swelling and had bleeding on the surface, which is consistent with a scenario where the child's head hit a fixed object. Further, the hemorrhaging was thought to be caused by shaken baby syndrome after the fracture to the skull occurred. Blunt trauma also caused the damage to the liver. In total, there were 10 fractured ribs, and some of the fractures were weeks old.
Testimony from medical experts can often invalidate injuries to a child, such as shaken baby syndrome. When it comes to these allegations, it is necessary to have legal counsel that is familiar with the proceedings that these types of allegations entail, not just a criminal defense attorney. The Law Offices of Shannon M. Smith is experienced in handling these types of allegations against parents, whether they come from Child Protective Services or the authorities. Our attorneys are skilled in defending allegations of child abuse, and child sexual abuse. If you are facing allegations of abusing a child, either sexually or physically, call the Law Offices of Shannon M. Smith.