Sep 10 2010
His actions took away his only son... and now... his freedom.The defense calls it a tragic accident... but today... a young man charged with murder faces the consequences of causing his baby's death.
"Just shy of his 21st birthday... 20-year-old Aarin Cratty will spend the next ten years behind bars... for the death of his 3 1/2 month old son, Hank At the sentence hearing... family members asked that he spend no time in jail... because he's been punished enough(Judge David Reich ) "This is a difficult case because it's a different type of murder case." That's the one thing everyone seems to agree on But arguments remain over baby Hank's actual cause of death last October(Burleigh County State's Attorney Richard Riha) "There is no doubt this child was shaken..." (Defense Attorney Travis Finck) "Here contrary to what the state's attorney portrayed it today, I don't think this was a shaken baby case, I don't believe the doctor believes it was a shaken baby case, it was a blunt force trauma." Aarin Cratty plead guilty to murder in June After weighing a pre-investigation report... and reading multiple letters on his behalf... The judge heard from his family members one last time (Aarin's mom Kristy) "He's been through hell already, I don't think there's anything more that anybody could possibly do to him to punish him for what was an accident." (Lori/Fiance/Hank's mother) "He's a really good guy, he wouldn't harm anybody." (Finck) "She's the one whose child was taken, Mr. Cratty's child was taken, and she's the one saying, it's an accident we can move on." Hank's mother, and Aarin's fiance, Lori says she has forgiven him for what happened But prosecutors say a toddler still died because of his actions...and there needs to be consequences... "I remember a few years ago there was an ad campaign, never never shake a baby, this is why you never shake a baby." (Riha) "people need to know you can't shake a child and get away with it." His defense attorney says it's a question of what the victims want...(Finck ) "the only real identifiable victims in this case, feel as if they're being penalized twice, they lost a grandson and a son, and now they're at risk of losing a son." (Aarin Cratty) "I guess I'd just like to reiterate to you that it was an accident, I'd never hurt my son on purpose, I don't think anyone would." (Amber Schatz/Reporting) "Recommendations ranged from 5 to seven years... up to 40 years in jail The judge says he decided on a middle ground between a murder and manslaughter sentence."Cratty's complete sentence is 25 years incarceration... all but 10 years of which will be suspended for a period of five years... during that five year period he will be on supervised probation.He also has to register as an offender against children