Negev man charged with baby's manslaughter

15-month-old baby dies from ruptured liver after father allegedly punched her in the stomach.

March 26, 2012 17:04
3 minute read.
Baby sleeping in cot

baby in cot 311. (photo credit: Illustrative photo)

The Southern district attorney filed an indictment in the Beersheba District Court on Monday, charging a 44-year-old man with the manslaughter of his 15-month-old daughter.

According to the indictment, Nifein Abu Zarar from the Negev Beduin town of Shakib al-Salam (Segev Shalom) committed many acts of physical and emotional abuse against his baby daughter, including screaming at her, throwing her onto a concrete floor, punching her, throwing shoes at her, squeezing her and sucking on her lips to try to stop her from crying.

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Abu Zarar also put cigarettes into the baby’s mouth and lit them, and put burning hot coals and hot cups into her hands, the indictment said.

The baby suffered horrific injuries, including bleeding under her scalp, according to the indictment.

After the infant died last month, doctors determined the cause of death was due to extensive blood loss from a ruptured liver, allegedly after Abu Zarar punched her in the stomach.

In addition to manslaughter, which carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison, Abu Zarar was also charged with assaulting his wife, violence against a minor, common assault, child abuse, grievous harm, aggravated assault and suborning an investigation.

Abu Zarar and his wife, known only as “B.,” married in 2009 and their daughter was born in October 2010, the indictment said. At first, B. lived with her family in the village of Fureidis, between Haifa and Hadera. She and the baby moved to live with Abu Zarar in Segev Shalom in October 2011, and the abuse continued from that time until the baby’s death, according to the indictment.

Several days before the baby died last month, Abu Zarar allegedly attacked the infant, slapping her face and shouting at her. As a result of the blow, the baby’s tongue bled, the indictment said.

On January 24, the indictment continued, B. went to take a shower while Abu Zarar slept in bed, first putting her daughter in a stroller.

While B. showered, Abu Zarar allegedly attacked the baby, seriously injuring her left leg and causing fracture lesions around her shin.

B. heard the baby’s screams from the shower, and came out to tell Abu Zarar to take the infant to a doctor, the indictment said, but he refused.

Only after he saw the child had difficulty standing on her injured leg did Abu Zarar agree to take her to a doctor, the indictment alleges.

The baby was examined by a doctor at a clinic in Segev Shalom, who referred her to the emergency room at Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba. Her leg was put into a cast there, the indictment said.

A month later, on February 24, the baby was on a mattress next to Abu Zarar’s bed and began to cry, waking her father, the indictment alleges, who began to scream at her to stop.

She continued crying, however, and Abu Zarar allegedly covered the infant’s face and body with a blanket, shook her and then punched her in the stomach, tearing her liver.

The next morning, B. heard her husband shouting, and ran inside the house to find him holding the unconscious baby, the indictment said.

Abu Zarar allegedly tried to resuscitate the baby but failed. He then ran outside with her, and a neighbor drove them to the clinic in Segev Shalom. Attempts to revive the baby failed, and she was rushed to Soroka University Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Abu Zarar is also charged with perpetrating prolonged abuse and violence against B.. According to the indictment, soon after his marriage Abu Zarar tried to strangle B., knocking her to the ground and dragging her around the house. Abu Zarar also allegedly slapped B. and once threw the baby at his wife’s head, injuring her.

In the midst of the police investigation following the baby’s death, Abu Zarar also allegedly threatened B., telling her that the couple was “going to prison for sure” and warning her “not to say a word” about “what I did” and the domestic abuse.

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