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Father Sentenced For Shaking Infant Son
Updated February 27, 2014 6:48 AM | Filed under: Crime
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Jaycie Gouckenour.jpg
david McNeal.jpg

(BLOOMFIELD) - 22-year-old David McNeal who was accused of shaking his baby and causing brain injuries has pleaded guilty to the crime of neglect of a dependent.

Neglect charges against the baby's mother, Jaycie A. Gouckenour, of Solsberry were dropped.

The Greene County Daily World reports, Greene County Circuit Court Special Judge P.J. Pierson sentenced McNeal to 2.5 years in jail with 1.5 years suspended.

Holt qualified for the Work Release Program and was ordered to report to Greene County Community Corrections to serve his remaining time.

Once that is done he will be placed on supervised probation for 1.5 years, and was ordered to complete an anger management program or obtain family counseling.

McNeal and Gouckenour were arrested after an Indiana State Police investigation began when the couple's 3-month-old baby was admitted to Riley Hospital in September 2012, after suffering extensive bruises and swelling of the brain.

McNeal and Gouckenour told police numerous stories on how the baby was injured. McNeal said he was watching the baby while Gouckenour was at work. The baby had a bad diaper rash and when he changed the diaper, the baby started crying and got hysterical. He said the baby's crying got so bad that the baby lost his breath and passed out, so he (McNeal) picked him up and shook him to wake him up. But that didn't work so he laid the baby down and rubbed his stomach and the baby did eventually wake up after 15-30 seconds. Then the baby was crying again so he bounced him to settle him down. He allegedly admitted that he did not support the child's neck when he was shaking him.

When the officer talked to Gouckenour, she allegedly said the baby passed out because the baby held his breath. But doctors told police a toddlers can hold their breath and pass out, but infants cannot do that.

Both mother and father told police the baby seemed fine after the incident but the next day the baby was acting funny so they took him to the doctor. That is when the doctor discovered the injuries after a scan and x-rays and the baby was rushed to Riley Hospital by helicopter.

Another story McNeal told police while at the hospital was that he had been carrying the baby a couple of weeks earlier and had banged the baby's head on a bathroom door but it did not even leave a bruise. The couple also told police the injuries could have been caused by a car seat.

Information, opinions and diagnosis, from four different doctors and a pediatric resident is detailed in court affidavits suggesting the baby suffered at least three injuries with one of them a fresh injury , that the baby had a huge subdural with lacerations on both sides of his brain, and that it would take violent force to cause these injuries. One doctor stated that the baby would not be the same after these injuries and would likely start to have developmental problems around age two, would most likely be learning disabled and have poor impulse control.

In addition, the affidavit notes that both doctors and the detective felt that the response of the parents had been inappropriate when speaking about the situation, and nonchalant about the significance of the injuries.

According to the affidavit, doctors at Riley have ruled out several possible causes of the hematomas including birth injuries, bleeding disorders, other routine trauma, and other uncommon causes, and that the injuries were caused only by dramatic violent events consistent with acceleration/deceleration injuries.

They also said the injuries were not consistent with bumping the baby's head against a door, or with a car seat injury -- one doctor told the officer that there was no way the injuries could have been caused by a car seat unless the baby had been in multiple significant car accidents.

Greene County DCS remains involved with the case and the child has been placed in the care of other family members.

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