Monday, 17 January 2011

SBS: Omaha: Diane Honaker

Jan 10 2011
It was nearly two months ago that Sarpy County daycare provider Diane Honaker was arrested for child abuse.
The Sarpy County Sheriff's Department contends she is responsible for the injuries that sent a five-month-old girl to the hospital.
And today in a Sarpy County courtroom, it was up to a judge to decide whether there's enough evidence against Honaker for the case to go to trial.
Did Diane Honaker shake a five-month-old baby so violently, it caused a life-threatening brain injury?
A medical expert and Sarpy County Sheriff's Deputy both say yes.
Now it's up to a Sarpy County judge to decide if there's enough evidence in the case for it to go to trial.
Diane Honaker leaves a Sarpy County courtroom after hearing some of the testimony against her.
Most of it coming from Doctor Suzanne Haney - the Medical Director of Project Harmony and an expert on shaken baby syndrome.
She testified that the baby's records showing the bleeding she had on her brain and retinas was consistent with shaken baby syndrome.
"It indicated something significant caused the bleeding. The blood being relatively new meant she had something significant in the last couple days," said Haney.
Haney added, "I believe her injuries were the result of shaking with or without impact."
After interrogating Honaker, the Sarpy County Sheriff's Department came to the same conclusion - that the five-month-old was shaken inside Honaker's Sarpy County home daycare.
In cross examination, Honaker's attorney Chris Lathrop refuted that.
Saying sheriff's deputies badgered and coerced Honaker during her interrogation - that all she said was quote "If I did shake her it was to soothe her. It was by no means intentional."
Lathrop also asserted that some pre-existing conditions could cause injuries similar to those the five-month-old had.
The judge will issue his ruling in two weeks on January 24th at 1:30 in the Sarpy County Courthouse.
The judge said he wanted to look at video from the interrogation before making his decision.
Honaker's attorney also got Doctor Haney to admit that commonly an entire child's brain is injured in shaken baby syndrome cases.
In this case, the injury was only on one side.

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