Thursday, 24 November 2011

SBS: New York State: Asa Madsen arrested

11/21/2011  Dan Levy

Bill Phelps
Bill Phelps

SCHENECTADY - The father of a baby who police say was abused to the point where she is now blind says the mother is also partially to blame.
Troy police arrested the mother's boyfriend, 30-year-old Asa Madsen of Averill Park on Friday. Now Bill Phelps, who lost all parental rights with his daughter Lia several months ago, although heartbroken, hasn't given up hope that his daughter will one day recover from her injuries or that he'll one day regain custody.
Even though Phelps hasn't been able to establish the kind of father-daughter relationship he would like, in the limited time he's been able to spend with Lia he's learned quite a bit.
"She's very smart," he boasted proudly. "She's lovable. She loves to snuggle and she loves to kiss daddy."
On Tuesday of this week, Phelps got a call from the baby's mother, Beth Taber, telling him Lia had fallen in the bathtub and hit her head and was then rushed to Albany Medical Center.
"When the final report came back from the neurosurgeon, they said that there was no possible way that the baby just fell," Phelps said. "That's when they came up with the shaken baby syndrome."
On that diagnosis, police arrested Madsen and charged him with shaking little Lia so violently she is now blind.
"I tried to say to Beth, you're just as guilty as him. If he's hitting you what makes you think he's not going to hit the children?" is what he posed to his ex-girlfriend of eight years with whom he fathered two children.
Phelps says he's well aware of Madsen's violent past. As a teenager, he was charged with killing his then-girl friend's cat. Earlier this year Madsen was slapped with a court order to stay away from Taber and her children after he allegedly tried to choke her.
"I have tried to work things out several times to get her away from the situation, but it never worked out," Phelps said. "She always wanted to be back with him for what ever reason I don't know."
He continued, "In my opinion, just be her covering and the events that happened from that day until now, she's just as guilty as he is. Whether she did it or not, or he did it, she covered for him to save her own hide, while the baby is sitting in the hospital."
Phelps says Lia is making progress every day and that she's playing and alert and may be released later this week.
He and Taber also have a 2-year-old son who is now staying with relatives. Phelps says he intends to be at Rensselaer County Family Court on Monday morning to file for custody of his children.
Madsen remains in the Rensselaer County Jail unable to make bail.
Police say the investigation is continuing.

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