Thursday, March 08, 2001

Shaken baby's dad gets eight-year prison term

The Associated Press

        CANTON, Ohio — A man convicted of harming his 6-month-old daughter by shaking her was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison.

        Gerard Van Hawkins Jr., 27, could have gotten 13 years in prison on two child endangering counts.

        Stark County Common Pleas jurors convicted Mr. Hawkins Tuesday of causing brain damage, bleeding eyes and a bruised lung to his daughter, Sania, by shaking her violently.

        Dr. Richard Steiner testified he was “absolutely certain” the girl's injuries were the result of “shaken baby syndrome” and were caused the day she was admitted. He said there was evidence the girl had been shaken five to 10 days earlier, too.


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