Dad ROCKY ANKNEY left the shell of this baby alive, but her quality of life is pretty much nil.
Though I admire the mom's dedication and bravery in fighting shaken baby syndrome, I often wonder how much good "education" really does in these cases. Wouldn't any normal person know you don't assault a baby for crying? And does "education" do any good with short-tempered, impulsive, and self-centered criminals?
Judge denies mercy to father who shook 2-month-old
10:23 PM, Feb 24, 2012
Written by Jeffrey Wolf
Written by Cheryl Preheim
DENVER - Baby Jasmine survived when doctors thought she wouldn't. A judge made it clear there is no excuse for hurting a child.
Twenty-eight-year-old Rocky Ankney pleaded guilty to shaking his 2-month-old daughter Jasmine. On Friday, the judge gave him the maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Jasmine is now 20 months old and has therapy every day. She cannot hold her head up or swallow. She is blind. She will never walk, or say "mom." She will probably never say anything.
Ankney claimed he had dropped her after her bath. Denver Police say that was not possible. She had massive brain damage, broken ribs, a broken collar bone and a broken wrist.
"He never called 911," Jennifer Schutz, Jasmine's mother, said. "He took her life from her. He should have his life taken from him."
That was the message Schutz told the judge.
Jasmine's then 6-year-old sister told police Ankney "didn't like it when she cried. He told her to shut up."
"When will people get the message - don't harm a baby - walk away. Anything else is cowardly," Chief Deputy Denver District Attorney Michelle Amico said on Friday.
Ankney had his attorney read his statement: "The choices I made I have to live with. I want to be able to say I'm sorry. I ask for mercy."
"You can't. What's done is done," Schutz said. "You can't really look back on what if, or why? You can't. What's done is done."
The judge did not give him mercy.
Schutz and her family say they will turn their grief into a purpose. Their mission is to end shaken baby syndrome.
"You need to talk among your family to see if they know how to handle her in a situation like that," Schutz said.
Experts say babies cry. It's normal and healthy behavior. As frustrating or overwhelming as it can be, shaking a baby is never an option. 9NEWS has partnered with Children's Hospital Colorado and the Kempe Center on an awareness campaign. You can take a pledge to never shake a baby at www.giveyourword.org. You can find more resources about shaken baby syndrome http://www.kempe.org/dontshakeababy.
"If you are that angry, put it down and let it cry. It's not going to hurt to cry, instead of shaking it to death," Susan Burke, Jasmine's grandmother, said. "This is never going to be over for our family."