Friday, November 05, 1999

Father accused of shaking 8-week-old son to death


Prosecutors to seek homicide charges

BY RACHEL MELCER
The Cincinnati Enquirer

heery
C. Heery
        Prosecutors said Thursday they will seek homicide charges against 28-year-old Christopher Heery of Forest Park, accused of shaking and squeezing the life out of his 8-week-old son.

        The infant, Ian Heery, suffered 14 broken bones and other injuries being cataloged by the Hamilton County Coroner's Office. He was hospitalized in critical condition Saturday and died four days later.

        Mr. Heery was arrested three hours after Ian's death and arraigned on a preliminary charge of felonious assault. He was being held Thursday at the Hamilton County jail on $250,000 cash bond.

        “Any time it's a child (injured or killed), it affects you. But when it's an 8-week-old, it affects you more,” said Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen. “The injuries were serious and severe.”

        Mr. Heery and his wife, Allison, who live in an apartment in the 11000 block of Passage Way, brought their unconscious son to Suburban Pediatrics on Northland Road on Saturday morning. Doctors there called an emergency squad, and Ian was taken to Children's Hospital Medical Center, where he was admitted to the intensive-care unit.

        Court records state Mr. Heery caused injury to his son “by squeez ing and shaking him until he passed out.”

        Mrs. Heery was not involved in causing the boy's injuries, prosecutors said.

        Because Ian was so young, it is unlikely that social services agencies would have had any previous contacts with the family or been aware of a potentially abusive situation, Mr. Allen said. Mr. Heery had no criminal record.

        Shaken baby syndrome, in which an infant is throttled until brain damage occurs, is often an act of sudden rage in response to relentless crying.

        “Typically this is done by somebody who has lost control or is in a moment of rage and violently, with all their might, shakes a baby,” said Dr. Robert Shapiro, a physician and director of the child-abuse team at Children's Hospital Medical Center.

        Most shaken babies die; those who survive can suffer mental retardation, cerebral palsy, paralysis, blindness, seizures and a variety of learning disorders.

        “The likelihood (is not) that a parent is going to injure their child by bouncing their baby up and down during play, during loving interac tions or soothing kinds of activities. That's not going to cause shaken baby syndrome,” Dr. Shapiro said. '

        As many as six children are brought to Children's Hospital each day for evaluation and assessment of possible abuse. The average age of those found to have been physically abused is 5.

        “Unfortunately, we're seeing more and more” child abuse cases, Mr. Allen said.

        A grand jury is scheduled to hear the case against Mr. Heery on Nov. 12.

       



HMO to re-empower MDs
Flynt vows to remain downtown
For sale: One grand landmark
Getting real about online privacy
I-71/75 S-curve project ending
Big earthquake in Midwest's future
Diabetes care looks beyond cost
- Father accused of shaking 8-week-old son to death
Judge keeps player off team
New school board members stress reforms, funding
School safety report inaccurate
The special voice of Morning Edition
The Morning Edition regulars
WWII vet has had 77 years of 'luck, luck, luck, luck'
Dr. Brazelton answers
Enter our Dress A Turkey contest
GET TO IT
Hindus to light up new year at biggest holiday
CONCERT REVIEW
Pat Barry gets WKRC-AM show
Shepherd rocks Bogart's with sound of his own
Bill widens business tax credit
Butler Co. buses gaining ridership
Cheerleader's visitation at school
Company, union bicker over picketing
Court might sue county so it can hire more staff
Covington mobilizes against gangs, dealers
Effects of drugs, alcohol driven home to students
Hyland will run again for county commission
Jail inmates to pay for meals, lodging
Lakota considers levy for projects
Man indicted on legal-sham charge
Policemen found not liable in killing
Portman: Nursing home for Southern Ohio veterans in works
Rash of violence shakes up Ohio town
Stations pull ads on Lucas' complaint
Three Tristaters convicted of $14M Medicare scheme
Tornado victims find a home and friends
TRISTATE DIGEST
Wyoming neighbors say 'no' to trail