Tag Archives: ShakenBabySyndrome

Michigan Child Abuse Registry

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Wyatt’s Law would help protect Children from Abuse

WYATT’S LAW

“Brutal Abuse Of Toddler Leads To New Bill That Could Crack Down On Child Abusers”

Michigan  –  The brutal abuse of Wyatt Rewoldt has led to the birth of a proposed bill that could crack down on vile child abusers.

According to Fox News, the boy’s mother, Erica Hammel, feels her son’s traumatic life experience is much more than just an isolated incident.

Now, she’s fighting to make sure the woman responsible for her son’s injuries, and all other child abusers, never have opportunities to harm children again.  Little Wyatt’s injuries have led to the birth of a unique bill called Wyatt’s Law, which would require child abusers to be part of a registry to make their actions known to others, much like the mandatory requirement for sex offenders.

According to the Independent Journal Review, the petition for this law began with a life-altering incident that occurred back in 2013.

Erica Hammel reportedly had serious reservations about sending her son Wyatt to stay with his father and his new live-in girlfriend, Rachel Edwards.  Initially, she assumed it was only fear of the unfamiliar, but she soon learned her reservations were warranted.

On November 1, 2013, Hammel received gut-wrenching news when she learned her one-year-old son Wyatt had been brutally beaten and that he was near death as a result of the horrific mistreatment he suffered at the hands of his father’s girlfriend, Rachel Edwards.

It has been reported that Wyatt suffered “brain injuries, head trauma, a skull fracture, broken ribs, and eye injuries, according to a doctor that treated the boy during seven weeks of rehabilitation at Children’s Hospital of Michigan,” reports Macomb Daily.  The injuries are reportedly consistent with “Shaken Baby Syndrome.”

Needless to say, Hammel was devastated about her son’s condition, but shortly after, she discovered something else about Rachel Edwards that she was totally unaware of.  Apparently, Edwards had a history of abuse with the previous child abuse convictions — a felony in 2011 and a 2013 misdemeanor charge not long before the harrowing incident that led to Wyatt’s injuries.

Hammel adamantly believes that, if the convictions of child abusers had been made public, her son may not have been a victim.  She would have been able to justify that gut instinct she had before allowing her son to go with Edwards and his father.  In a previous hearing back in January of 2015, she spoke out about her son’s injuries and how she feels Wyatt’s Law could prevent other defenseless children from suffering the same injuries as Wyatt.

“I just want to make sure she never can abuse a child again,” Hammel said at the hearing.  “I thought she made herself look even more guilty and like a coward,” Hammel said.  “She can’t own up to her own actions, and it’s disgusting to me she can feel no remorse for what happened to my son.”

According to Detroit Free Press, Edwards was sentenced to 33 months to 10 years in prison after pleading no contest to the second-degree child abuse charges in connection with Wyatt’s injuries.

Wyatt’s story has garnered national attention, as many others agree that child abuse registries should be mandated nationwide.  Now, petitions have been launched in other states, and Wyatt’s Law has been introduced into legislature.  Although Wyatt has made vast improvements, he still has a long road to recovery ahead.

Caps Raise Awareness Of Child Abuse

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Denise Easeley, a NICU nurse at UnityPoint Health

Hospital’s goal is to knit 3,500 caps as part of campaign

“Crying is the No. 1 trigger for infant abuse,” she said. “Shaken baby syndrome is 100 percent preventable.”

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA  –  Denise Easeley says it’s normal for parents to become frustrated with their babies.

However, there is a point where one needs to draw the line.

“Purple crying” is defined as a period when an infant is inconsolable. It also is a time when parents may feel like they are at their wits end.

The national Click for Babies campaign aims to raise awareness of the purple crying period and prevent child abuse from occurring. As part of the campaign in Cedar Rapids, UnityPoint Health — St. Luke’s five years ago began hosting knit-ins.

“Our goal is to increase awareness for the period of purple crying program by educating parents and caregivers,” said Easley, a NICU nurse at UnityPoint Health — St. Luke’s. “We don’t want babies to be shaken or hurt.”

During the knit-ins, volunteers knit purple caps for babies, to symbolize purple crying.

St. Luke’s will host two knit-ins from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 4 and Oct. 3. There already were two knit-ins at the hospital in July and August.

Nine hundred caps were turned in after this year’s first knit-in, Easley said, including some by those who previously participated.

At the knit-ins, participants look at patterns, teach each other and enjoy chatting, Easley said. Participants are asked to bring their own knitting needles and yarn. A limited supply of yarn and patterns will be available.

Yarn donations also are accepted.

The goal for the campaign is 3,500 caps, which will be distributed to birthing hospitals across the state.

Easley said most of Iowa’s large hospitals teach new parents about purple crying.

“Parents get the education in the hospital and then they take it home. In November and December, after they’ve received their education, then they take home a purple cap.”

Easley said she wants the public to know that babies are supposed to cry.

“Crying is the No. 1 trigger for infant abuse,” she said. “Shaken baby syndrome is 100 percent preventable.”

Casper infant abuse trial begins Monday

Child Abuse
Stephanie Shirts

Casper, Wyoming – The trial of a woman accused of burning a 14-month-old girl’s face with a hot pan last year is scheduled to begin Monday.

Attorneys are expected to begin questioning potential jurors who will hear the case against Stephanie Shirts, the 25-year-old woman accused of rolling a saucepan on an infant’s face and shaking the baby with enough force to require trauma care. The trial will be held in Natrona County District Court.

Authorities also accuse Shirts of suffocating the girl with a blanket. The infant was taken in September by helicopter to the children’s hospital in Aurora, Colorado, with a brain bleed and bleeding in the eyes.

Shirts was charged Sept. 18 with four counts of child abuse, four counts of child endangerment with methamphetamine and one count of aggravated child abuse. She faces 65 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Shirts and her attorney, Sarah Jacobs, unsuccessfully attempted to postpone the trial. Jacobs questioned the Casper Police Department’s handling of her client’s interrogation, claiming Shirts was detained without being properly advised of her Miranda rights.

Natrona County District Judge Catherine Wilking ruled last week that Shirts received a proper Miranda warning and acted voluntarily. Wilking denied a motion to further delay Shirts’ trial in order to hear more expert testimony.

Wilking also ruled prosecutors can introduce past evidence of child abuse by Shirts. Natrona County District Attorney Mike Blonigen presented evidence Tuesday suggesting that Shirts, sometime before the burning allegations, repeatedly struck a small child at a Casper convenience store.

The child was reportedly buckled in a car seat in the back seat of Shirts’ car. The Aug. 26 incident was reported by two witnesses and caught on store surveillance cameras. Although Casper police officers investigated the report, no arrests were made.

Shirts’ trial was originally set to begin on Feb. 2. Wilking reluctantly delayed the trial after Shirts requested Jacobs replace the public defender initially appointed to represent her.

The infant’s mother, Bobbi Humphreys, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of felony child endangerment with methamphetamine and one count of misdemeanor child endangering. Prosecutors recommended she serve two to five years in the Wyoming Women’s Center.

Jason Cathcart, 37, who lived with Shirts and Humphreys, pleaded guilty last month to possessing methamphetamine and endangering the children who lived with him. Prosecutors said they will recommend Cathcart be sentenced to four to five years in prison.

The three adults admitted to smoking methamphetamine in their home on South Fairdale Avenue on the morning the infant was taken to the hospital. Humphreys allegedly left the 14-month-old in her playpen while she went to Wal-Mart.

Cathcart and Shirts heard the baby crying and took her out of the playpen to change her diaper. Shirts said she put a blanket over the child’s face because she wouldn’t quit crying.

The child quit breathing and turned blue, Shirts told police. She gave the baby CPR, and the infant started breathing again.  Humphreys arrived home shortly after and took the baby to the hospital.

Authorities searched the home and found synthetic marijuana and meth.

Father shook 3-month-old son after getting frustrated with video game

Shaken Baby Syndrome
Jerry Carrier shook 3 month old Child 2 times in 2 weeks.

Jerry Carrier, of New Hampshire, allegedly became frustrated when he couldn’t pass a level on a video game and shook his 3-month-old son, who was taken to a hospital and taken into state custody. The boy had once before been rushed to a hospital after Carrier allegedly shook him two weeks prior.

A New Hampshire dad twice exploded into a rage and violently shook his baby son after getting angry with a video game, police said.

Jerry Carrier allegedly took his frustration of not being able to pass a certain level out on the tiny 3-month-old tot on two separate occasions in less than two weeks, reports WMUR.

The 26-year-old is accused of first shaking the newborn at a home in Newport on Jan. 5.

Paramedics were called to the property and found the infant “clearly in distress,” reports the New Hampshire Union Leader.
He was rushed to New London Hospital and released, but was readmitted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center the following day when he couldn’t keep his food down.

Two weeks later, on Jan. 19, Carrier allegedly shook the youngster again at a house in Charlestown, reports the Union Leader.
The baby’s mom found her son unresponsive, blue and not breathing.
Cops were called and the baby was again rushed to hospital, where doctors discovered his injuries were from “non-accidental trauma.” The baby was taken into state custody.

Carrier, who was taken into custody on Feb. 6 for a separate parole violation for another assault, was arrested Monday and charged with two counts of first-degree assault.

During questioning, he reportedly confessed to the crimes.
“He was having trouble getting past a level of one of the games he was playing and got frustrated,” he told cops, according to Newport police Sgt. Buddy Rowe.

It’s not known what game he was playing. If convicted, he faces seven years in prison.