Friday, 13 September 2013

SBS: Wales: Parents of baby boy ‘shaken to death’ spared prosecution because officers didn’t know who caused injuries

Parents of baby boy ‘shaken to death’ spared prosecution because officers didn’t know who caused injuries

  • Suffered brain injuries after being 'deliberately shaken' at just eight weeks 
  • Was at his parents' house in Bridgend, Wales, when he died in 2008
  • Coroner recorded a verdict of 'unlawful killing' and praised his carers
Arron Hatter (pictured) and Gemma Bayliss have never been charged in connection to the brain damage suffered by their son Ieuan in 2008
Arron Hatter (pictured) and Gemma Bayliss have never been charged in connection to the brain damage suffered by their son Ieuan in 2008
The parents of a boy who died from brain injuries he suffered in their care have never been charged - after police found it 'impossible' to identify a specific culprit.
Ieuan Hatter was left brain damaged at just eight weeks old while at the Bridgend home of his father Arron Hatter, 32, and his 31-year-old mother Gemma Bayliss.
Health officials called in police after he was rushed to St David’s Hospital in Cardiff suffering from seizures and breathing difficulty in 2008.
The pair were arrested on suspicion of harming their child, but both were later freed because officers did not have sufficient evidence to charge either parent.
Ieuan died on January 23 after five years in the care of guardians.
At an inquest into the child's death in Wales on Wednesday, Assistant Coroner Christopher John Woolley recorded a verdict of unlawful killing - and revealed no one had stood trial for his death.
He told the hearing: 'I can be sure that someone shook Ieuan to death.'
Mr Woolley ruled out a fall for the injuries suffered, adding: 'There was no external evidence of bruising or fracture and it would not have come from a fall.
'The actions that caused the injuries would have obviously been abuse to any casual observer and to anyone witness to it.
'I’m sure there was a deliberate act here. This action caused the injury and I’m satisfied the act was dangerous.'
Tragic: Ieuan Hatter died in January, five years after he suffered serious brain injuries while in his parents' care
Tragic: Ieuan Hatter died in January, five years after he suffered serious brain injuries while in his parents' care
The inquest at Cardiff and Vale Coroner’s Court also heard that there was a clear link between the injuries Ieuan sustained in 2008 and his death earlier this year.
The subsequent police investigation launched after he was injured found insufficient evidence to prosecute Ieuan’s parents.

    Detective Inspector Kath Prichard from South Wales Police told the inquest that the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case in October, 2008.
    She said: 'It was impossible to say who had caused his injuries and impossible to say if the pair had worked together to cause the injuries.'
    Paul Davis, consultant paediatrician at St David’s Hospital in Cardiff, who examined Ieuan after the incident, also gave evidence at the inquest.
    No action: Police reviewed the investigation into Ieuan's injuries following his death in January, but decided there was still insufficient evidence to prosecute either Arron Hatter (pictured) or Gemma Bayliss
    No action: Police reviewed the investigation into Ieuan's injuries following his death in January, but decided there was still insufficient evidence to prosecute either Arron Hatter (pictured) or Gemma Bayliss
    He explained: 'When Ieuan was admitted to hospital he was very unwell, he was having seizures and breathing difficulties.
    'It was clear he had received severe brain injuries and would have a severe long-term illness.'
    Mr Wooley went on to heap praise on Ieuan's guardians Tracey Sims and Cathryn Hole, who provided 24 hour care throughout the remainder of his short life.
    He added: 'The care they gave him improved his short life immeasurably. Without that care his life would not have been as happy as it was.'
    Inquest: Assistant Coroner Christopher John Woolley recorded a verdict of unlawful killing Cardiff and Vale Coroner's Court
    Inquest: Assistant Coroner Christopher John Woolley recorded a verdict of unlawful killing Cardiff and Vale Coroner's Court
    Ieuan passed away at the Ty Hafan Hospice in Sully after his condition deteriorated.
    South Wales Police reviewed the previous police investigation after Ieuan's death but again found there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.
    The inquest heard there is currently no active investigation into Ieuan’s death.
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    Tuesday, 21 May 2013

    SIDS: Sudden infant death risk 'is five times higher if the baby sleeps in its parents' bed'

    It is believed that 120 babies could be saved each year in the UK if parents stopped bed sharing

    • Research shows 88 per cent of deaths while co-sleeping could have been avoided had the baby been in a cot

    Babies who sleep in the same bed as their parents are five times more likely to die of sudden death, experts have warned.
    Bed sharing is on the increase despite warnings that parents should have their babies in bed with them - particularly smokers and those who have been drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
    But the latest research says all babies are at extra risk no matter what the parents’ lifestyle.
    It is believed that 120 babies could be saved in the UK each year if parents didn't share a bed with their baby
    It is believed that 120 babies could be saved in the UK each year if parents didn't share a bed with their baby
    The largest ever study of its type found the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) was five times higher even when neither parent smoked, and the baby was less than 3 months old, breastfed and the mother did not drink or take drugs, than if the baby had slept in a cot next to their parents’ bed.
    It is possible accidental suffocation may be to blame, especially when the baby is under three months old.
    Despite a dramatic drop in the rate of cot death in the UK since the early 1990s, experts are advising parents that the safest place for a baby to sleep is in a cot, and that dangerous co-sleeping arrangements are an avoidable risk.
    Professor Bob Carpenter, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who led the study said 120 babies a year could be saved if parents stopped bed sharing.
    He said: ‘Eighty eight per cent of the deaths that occurred while bed sharing would probably not have occurred had the baby been placed on its back in a cot by the parents’ bed.
    ‘Annually there are around 300 cot death cases in babies under a year old in the UK, and this advice could save the lives of up to 40 per cent of those.
    'Health professionals need to make a definite stand against all bed sharing, especially for babies under three months.’
    The study looked at five published data sets from the UK, Europe and Australasia, which included information on 1472 SIDS cases and 4679 control cases.
    The risk of SIDS while bed sharing fell as the age of the infant rose.
    But if either parent was a smoker or the mother had drunk alcohol or used illegal drugs, including cannabis, at any time since the child was born, the risk was greatly increased.
    The study found in 22 per cent of cases where infants had died from SIDS, one or both parents had been sleeping with their child at the time of death.
    Over the past 10 years, there has been a marked increase in bed sharing and the authors now estimate half of SIDS cases occur while bed sharing - more than double the figure found in the study.
    Even in very low-risk breastfed babies, where there were no risk factors for SIDS other than that they had slept in their parents’ bed, 81 per cent of SIDS deaths in infants under three months of age could have been prevented by not bed sharing, they add.
    There has been a marked increase in bed sharing in the last 10 years. experts say medical professionals should be giving new parents clear advice about the dangers of co-sleeping
    There has been a marked increase in bed sharing in the last 10 years. experts say medical professionals should be giving new parents clear advice about the dangers of co-sleeping
    The study, published online in BMJ Open, said: ‘The current messages saying that bed sharing is dangerous only if you or your partner are smokers, have been drinking alcohol or taking drugs that make you drowsy, are very tired or the baby is premature or of low-birth weight, are not effective.
    ‘We do not suggest that babies should not be brought into the parent’s bed for comfort and feeding.
    ‘This has been investigated in previous studies and has not been found to be a risk factor, provided the infant is returned to his or her own cot for sleep.’
    Francine Bates, chief executive of the safer baby sleep charity, The Lullaby Trust (formerly FSID), said: ‘As a charity with a proud track record of promoting safe sleep advice, which helped to dramatically reduce the numbers of sudden infant deaths in the UK over the last 20 years, we have never actively promoted bed sharing.
    ‘However, we recognise that some parents will choose to sleep with their babies as opposed to placing them in a cot or a Moses basket next to their bed.
    ‘The Lullaby Trust supports parental choice but we would also urge every new mother and father to weigh up the known risks of sharing a bed with their baby and, in light of their own situation, take appropriate precautions.
    ‘We have also known for many years that parental smoking is a very significant risk factor for SIDS and that bed sharing with a parent who smokes, has drunk alcohol or taken drugs, dramatically increases a baby’s chances of dying.
    ‘Professor Carpenter’s paper provides us with even more evidence of the dangers, identifying a 65-fold increase in SIDS risk for two week old babies who share a bed with parents who both smoke.
    ‘Our core message remains that the safest place for a baby to sleep for the first six months is in a crib or cot in the same room as a parent or carer.’ 
    A spokesman for the NHS watchdog Nice said it was reviewing guidance on sudden infant death syndrome.
    ‘Sleeping alongside a baby increases the risks to the child - including death.
    ‘We currently recommend that doctors, midwives and nurses should warn parents of the risks of sleeping alongside a baby in a bed.
    ‘The safest place for a baby to sleep is in a cot in their parents’ room for the first six months.’

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    Sunday, 24 February 2013

    SBS: Cysta Dorothy Charged In Shaken Baby Case; Police Seek Ex-Boyfriend

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    Crystal Dorothy, Keith Loftus
    Crysta Dorothy was charged with risk of injury to a minor, making a false statement to police, interfering with an officer and two counts of conspiracy. Police are seeking her boyfriend, Keith Loftus. (Courtesy of Old Saybrook Police Department / February 19, 2013)

    A mother is in custody and police are looking for her former boyfriend after an investigation into the life-threatening injuries the mother's child suffered while in the man's care, police said.
    Crystal Dorothy, 26, of Second Avenue, turned herself in on Tuesday.
    She was charged with risk of injury to a minor, making a false statement to police, interfering with an officer and two counts of conspiracy. Police are seeking her former boyfriend, Keith Loftus, 31, whose last known address was in Deep River. He is wanted on charges of first-degree assault, risk of injury to a minor, interfering with an officer, and two counts of conspiracy.
    Police said the baby suffered injuries consistent with "shaken baby syndrome." The injuries occurred when the child was 7 months old. The child survived and is now in special foster care.
    "Ms. Dorothy recognizes that she made some poor decisions, including dating Mr. Loftus," said Jennifer Celentano, Dorothy's attorney. "However, she has never injured her son. Ms. Dorothy would like to see Mr. Loftus prosecuted and will cooperate with the authorities to that extent."
    The investigation began with a referral to the state Department of Children and Families by the staff at Yale-New Haven Hospital. The child was taken to the hospital Sept. 16 and staff there recognized injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome.
    The baby's brain was bruised and bleeding, his lower spinal column had blood pooling and he had bruises on both sides of his face and on his buttocks, according to an arrest affidavit.
    Hospital staff called DCF, who notified police.
    Dorothy initially told police that her son sustained the injuries by falling out of a baby swing and after Loftus' dogs knocked him over. She said Loftus was with the baby when the injuries occurred and, although she was not in the same room as them, she was in the house, the affidavit says.
    She later said her son was injured after she dropped him and Loftus off at Loftus' parents house in Deep River on Sept. 13 and 14 while she went to work. She said she had believed Loftus' explanation for the injuries because she had never seen him treat the baby in a rough manner.
    "She stated that she was having a difficult time grasping the thought that Keith would intentionally hurt the victim," the affidavit states. Dorothy also said Loftus told her what to say to police and to DCF.
    She brought the baby to the hospital Sept. 16 when he appeared to be having a seizure, the affidavit states.
    When Loftus was told that the baby suffered from "shaken baby syndrome," he sobbed and said he didn't understand how a fall would lead to that diagnosis. He said he was bouncing on the bed on his knees while holding the boy to his chest. The boy fell onto a stack of hard-covered books, landing on his butt, the affidavit says.
    Loftus described a second accidental injury to the boy. He said the boy was knocked over by dogs in the living room of the house and appeared to be dead. Loftus said he shook him, but not too hard, in order to revive him.
    Loftus told police he was serving a suspended sentence and "owes" Manchester seven years. The arrest affidavit does not specify what he was convicted of, but online court records indicate he was convicted in Manchester in 2007 of burglary, larceny, stealing a fire arm and violation of probation.
    He was sentenced to seven years in prison, suspended after 22 months and followed by three years of probation.
    Dorothy's bail was initially set at $100,000 and was arraigned Tuesday at Superior Court in Middletown, where her bail was reduced to $25,000. She posted bail and was released.
    Police are looking for Loftus and ask that anyone with information about his whereabouts call Old Saybrookpolice at 860-395-3142.

    Friday, 15 February 2013

    SIDS: College of American Pathologists

    The Past, Present, and Future of SIDS, Part I of II
    Posted February 5, 2013
    Marianna Sandomirsky, MD, FCAP
    CAP Forensic Pathology Resource Committee
    Sudden unexplained infant deaths are complicated cases, not only for the families that experience the loss but also for the medicolegal community that holds the responsibility for investigating what happened. In this type of death there is a large emotional component associated with grief, as well as the need to understand what happened and ways to prevent a similar outcome in future offspring. The determination of the cause and manner of death is key to answering families’ concerns and gathering information about the mysterious syndrome, known to many as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Recent changes in the way many forensic pathologists regard this entity have occurred, and this two-part series will highlight the past, present, and future of sudden unexplained infant death (SUID).
    SIDS has been a diagnostic entity since 1969 when a National Institutes of Health Consensus Committee codified “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.”1 The committee defined SIDS as “the sudden death of any infant or young child, which is unexpected by history, and in which a thorough post-mortem examination fails to reveal an adequate cause for death.” The typical SIDS case identified in the committee’s 1969 report occurred in the winter months, unwitnessed during sleep, and involved infants two to four months old from a lower socioeconomic level. No single pathological process or mechanism of death became apparent as a cause of death after many nonspecific autopsies. Of note, the pathology community at that time did not seek additional information regarding the death scene investigation or clinical history—they relied purely on autopsies to explain SIDS.
    In 1989, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development convened a panel that clarified the SIDS definition to “the sudden death of an infant under one year of age, which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history.”2 The revised SIDS definition recognized the importance of scene investigation and clinical history as vital components of investigating sudden unexplained infant deaths.
    The medical community continues to research SIDS, and thus far a definitive etiology remains elusive. The triple risk model defines the most common hypothesis.3–4 Since the early research days, physicians recognized that no single factor accounts for these infant deaths. The general understanding then and now continues to focus on combination of risk factors that include both endogenous and exogenous stressors. Endogenous risk factors for SIDS focus on the underlying vulnerability (ie, prematurity) of the infant and the infant’s susceptibility to death during a critical developmental period. The exogenous factors mainly deal with unsafe sleeping practices (ie, sleep position, heavy bedding, bed sharing, etc).
    It is continued medical uncertainty that has lead forensic pathologists to review how to approach SIDS and whether it is truly a syndrome or an unexplained entity that needs to be called what it is: sudden unexplained infant death (SUID).
    1. Bergman AB, Beckwith JB, Ray CG, et al, eds. Sudden infant death syndrome: proceedings of the second international conference on causes of sudden death in infants. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press; 1970.
    2. Willinger M, James LS, Catz C. Defining the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS): deliberations of an expert panel convened by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Pediatr Pathol. 1991;11(5):677–684.
    3. Guntheroth WG, Spiers PS. The triple risk hypotheses in sudden infant death syndrome. Pediatrics. 2002;110(5):e64.
    4. Krous HF, Beckwith JB, Byard RW, et al. Sudden infant death syndrome and unclassified sudden infant deaths: a definitional and diagnostic approach. Pediatrics. 2004;114(1):234–238.
    Download this article in Microsoft Word format.
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    NewsPath® Editor: Kyle L. Eskue, MD, FCAP
    This newsletter is produced in cooperation with the College of American Pathologists Member and Public Communications Committee and the NewsPath Editorial Board and may be reproduced in whole or in part as a service to the medical community. Copyright © 2012 by the College of American Pathologists.
    Please e-mail any comments to

    SBS: Benjamin Fuller sentenced

    Posted Feb 08, 2013 

    A 23-year-old Peoria man was sentenced Friday to nine years in prison for violently shaking his 6-month-old nephew in 2011.
    Benjamin J. Fuller, of 3431 W. Oakcrest Drive apologized and said he regretted hurting the infant. Fuller told Peoria County Circuit Judge Kevin Lyons he didn’t realize shaking the child could lead to problems later in life.
    Fuller’s brother, John Fuller, took the stand and asked for the minimum sentence — six years — for his brother, pointing out to Lyons that his brother, while having character flaws, had a good heart.
    Lyons seemed touched by the brother’s comments but noted that judges must look at the crime and sentence accordingly, not just consider what the victim in the matter wants.
    In December, Benjamin Fuller pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated battery to a child as part of a deal with Peoria County prosecutors that saw lesser counts of aggravated battery and reckless conduct dismissed. The deal had a 15-year cap on any prison term. Without the deal, he would have faced up to 30 years in prison.
    Assistant State’s Attorney Donna Cruz said Benjamin Fuller was watching his nephew in mid-December 2011, while the infant’s parents were away training with the military. He told police he got angry with the child and, at some point during the week, he shook the boy and “put him down on the floor,” causing the child to bang his head on the ground.
    The parents got alarmed when Benjamin Fuller told them the infant was vomiting. A check by doctors revealed signs of abusive head trauma or what used to be called shaken baby syndrome.
    Benjamin Fuller must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.
    Andy Kravetz can be reached at 686-3283 or Follow him on Twitter @andykravetz.

    SBS: Brandi Cochran charged

    Brandi Cochran arrives at the Madison County Courthouse for an initial court appearance Monday on a charge of murdering her 6-month-old daughter. / Melissa Dean/News Record & Sentinel
    MARSHALL — Investigators believe a Madison County mother accused of murdering her infant daughter shook the baby violently, causing a fatal brain injury.
    Brandi Rae Cochran, 25, was charged with the offense Sunday by officers with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
    In her first court appearance Monday at the Madison County Courthouse, Cochran told reporters, “I didn’t do it.”
    Cochran’s 6-month-old daughter, Kali Cochran, died Friday night from traumatic brain injuries. Investigators believe the injuries happened Tuesday night at Brandi Cochran’s home at 67 Fred Anderson Drive near Hot Springs.
    “It appears to be shaken baby syndrome,” Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Michael Garrison said Monday.
    A preliminary report from an autopsy that was performed Monday at a medical examiner’s office in Winston-Salem stated the cause of death was subdural hematoma — bleeding on the brain that creates pressure, compressing brain tissue.
    Investigators have been talking with area social services departments and law enforcement agencies to see if Cochran was the subject of any previous child abuse investigations, Garrison said. The Madison County Social Services Department has no open cases with the family.
    “We haven’t been able to substantiate anything like that,” Garrison said.
    Sheriff Buddy Harwood said another person was in the home when the alleged abuse occurred, but officers are still working to determine if the person witnessed the incident.
    Cochran, who is divorced, is the mother of another child who lives in the home, investigators said.
    Cochran called 911 at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to report her daughter was having trouble breathing. The child was airlifted to Johnson City Medical Center in Tennessee.
    Medical staff at the hospital notified the Madison County Sheriff’s Office that the child possibly was the victim of child abuse, Harwood said. Later that night, the infant was flown to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville.
    Kali Cochran died at the Knoxville hospital late Friday night.
    Her mother is being held without bond at the Madison County Detention Facility

    Saturday, 19 January 2013

    SBS: Quentin Louis: Court Orders New Trial in 2005 Shaken Baby Case

    A A  
    Reporter: WSAW Staff
    A new trial date has been set for the Athens man convicted of shaking his four-month-old daughter to death.
    An appeals court upheld a decision to give Quentin Louis a new trial based on information about what causes symptoms associated with shaken baby syndrome.
    During his jury trial in June 2006, an investigator took the stand and said Louis said his daughter, Madelyn wouldn't stop crying so he held her up and shook her. That's when she stopped breathing. It happened on March 18, 2005 at his home in Athens. She died at a hospital three days later from severe brain trauma.
    In 2006, Quentin Louis was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the crime.
    He will face a jury all over again at the end of October.

    SBS: Christopher Gebhart faces 5 to 23 years for manslaughter

    Jan. 17, 2013  

    A previously convicted sex offender who is now accused in a shaken baby death case has agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter and child abuse, and faces a sentencing range of five to 23 years in prison.
    Christopher Gebhart, 25, is set to officially plead guilty during a Superior Court of Guam hearing on Feb. 13. During a court hearing yesterday, Gebhart's attorney said the plea deal was being finalized.
    "We have the plea and he is going to sign it," said attorney Jeff Moots, with Gebhart sitting at his right side. "We just need to have it executed and filed."
    After court, Moots said the plea agreement includes charges of first-degree felony manslaughter and third-degree felony child abuse. Once Gebhart has pleaded guilty, attorneys will argue over an appropriate sentence within the five-to-23-year range, Moots said.
    Gebhart is one of several people who were arrested after the 2009 death of 1-year-old Skylin Haechi Santos, who died of shaken baby syndrome. Gebhart was charged with aggravated murder in 2009, but the indictment was later dismissed because of prosecutorial error. He was re-indicted in April.
    According to court documents, Gebhart was the boyfriend of the child's baby sitter. Gebhart allegedly slapped, threw and shook the young girl, leaving her with "traumatic brain injuries," court document state.
    The baby sitter is Sharika Pangelinan, who still faces a murder charge.
    Pangelinan is considering a proposed plea agreement, said defense attorney Doug Moylan. The attorney declined to discuss the components of the plea deal, but he said Pangelinan will most likely be ready to plead guilty on Feb. 13 also.
    The young girl's mother, Valerie Santos, was sentenced to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to third-degree felony child abuse in June 2011. She left the young girl with Gebhart and Pangelinan for extended periods of time, and did nothing when injuries began to surface on her child, according to court documents.
    Gebhart is also a registered sex offender. He was convicted of child molestation in a 2005 case in which he sexually assaulted a girl at Guam Memorial Hospital. He was sentenced to five years in prison for the molestation, but three years were suspended.

    SBS: Kenneth Lathrop charged in ‘shaken baby’ case

    LOCKPORT – A 26-year-old man charged in a suspected case of “shaken baby syndrome” was to appear today in Lockport City Court, according to State Police.

    Kenneth S. Lathrop Jr., of Ruhlman Road, was charged Wednesday with a felony count of assault and a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child. Troopers said they were contacted by Niagara County Child Protective Services and told that a child, less than a year old, was being treated at Women & Children’s Hospital in Buffalo for injuries consistent with the syndrome, in which a child suffers brain injuries from being shaken violently.

    Lathrop was caring for the child at the time the injuries were suffered, troopers said.

    Following arraignment before Lockport Town Justice Leonard Tilney on Wednesday, Lathrop was sent to the Niagara County Jail, in lieu of $5,000 cash bail, pending today’s court appearance.

    SBS: QuentinLouis: Dates set for retrial in shaken baby death

    Jan 14, 2013   |  Quentin J. Louis appears in court in 2005 on charges of first-degree reckless homicide.
    Quentin J. Louis appears in court in 2005 on charges of first-degree reckless homicide. / Daily Herald Media file photo
    Dates for a new trial have been set in the case of an Athens man convicted in the death of his four-month-old daughter.
    Quentin Louis, 31, was sentenced in 2006 to 20 years in prison for the March 18, 2005 death of his daughter. According to a criminal complaint, Louis admitted to investigators that he shook the child, whose death was diagnosed as the result of shaken baby syndrome.
    In August 2009, Marathon County Circuit Court Judge Vincent Howard granted Louis’s request for a new trial because the jury did not hear medical evidence during the trial that challenged shaken baby syndrome. A Wisconsin Appeals Court in March 2011 upheld Howard’s decision.
    The cause of symptoms associated with shaken baby syndrome have been disputed in recent years and several high profile shaken baby cases in Wisconsin have been challenged in court.
    A 15-day jury trial has been set for Oct. 28 for Louis, who remains jailed on a $50,000 cash bond.

    Friday, 11 January 2013

    SBS: Lynsey Overtone accused

    Lake County woman is locked up, accused of shaking her baby so hard, the child had to be taken to the hospital.
    Lynsey Overton was arrested after she took her baby to a hospital.
    According to deputies, doctors found all the signs of shaken baby syndrome, including blood clots on the brain and bone fractures.
    Overton initially blamed her boyfriend, but confessed to police.
    She also told officers she didn't feed her baby as often as recommended because she wanted to sleep in.

    SBS: Virginia: Julie Calahan gets jail time for baby's death

    • Photo
    Mom in court for baby's death

    Infant died in 2009 from Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Updated: Tuesday, 08 Jan 2013, 7:17 PM EST
    Published : Tuesday, 08 Jan 2013, 1:57 PM EST
    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - A mother will spend the next 15 years in prison for shaking her 11-month-old daughter to death in 2009.
    Julie Calahan, 24, was sentenced to time behind bars in connection to the death of her daughter, La Keira, who was found unresponsive at a home in Virginia Beach in May, 2009. La Keira’s uncle, Stephen Calahan, was arrested and charged with murder in La Keria’s death.
    In 2012, Facebook posts led police to Julie Calahan. A detective testified Calahan wrote on her Facebook “I was drunk and I got up and shook her.” Calahan was then arrested and charged in the case.
    Stephen Calahan was convicted of child neglect in 2010, but the murder charge was never prosecuted.
    Additionally, an investigation was launched into Julie Calahan in 2008, when Child Protective Services learned her 4-year-old son was brought to the hospital with severe bruises. The child returned to the hospital several months later with injuries requiring surgery and was then released to foster care.
    Tuesday, a judge sentenced Julie Calahan to 10 years in prison for manslaughter and 10 years for child neglect, five of which were suspended.