Father indicted in baby's brain death

Admits to savage attack because the baby's cries wouldn't let him sleep.

The Jerusalem District Attorney's Office on Sunday filed an indictment against a 20-year-old father, on the day a medical team at Hadassah-University Hospital, Ein Karem declared the baby, whom he had severely beaten, clinically dead. The father was charged with abuse of a minor or helpless person, violence against a minor or helpless person causing palpable injury, and violence against a minor or helpless person causing severe injury. Two of the three charges carry a maximum sentence of nine years in jail. The baby was brought to hospital on the night of April 2, suffering from internal bleeding and bleeding in the retinas of his eyes. Doctors found that the baby showed other signs of violence including teeth marks on his face. During questioning by police, the father at first denied that he had deliberately hurt the infant. He said he had tried to calm him down and that the baby had slipped from his hands. Afterwards, however, he admitted that he had bitten the baby in the face, pinched him in the neck and chest and slapped him because the baby's cries wouldn't let him sleep. According to the charge sheet, the defendant had been upset with his baby because he believed the baby had a defect in his neck muscles. Dr. Ido Yatziv, who treated the baby, told The Jerusalem Post however that he saw no sign of such a defect. On the night the baby lost consciousness, the father allegedly slapped him and shook him violently. The baby slipped out of his hands and his head struck a wall. Dr. Yatziv told the Post that, normally, if a patient is declared brain dead and the family is not opposed, the patient is taken off life support. In this case, the family, which is haredi, opposed. He predicted that the baby would die despite life support between "a few hours and a few days."