J'lem dad found guilty of manslaughter

Despite conviction, Yisrael Wallis acquitted on separate charges of abusing his 3-month-old son.

The Jerusalem District Court convicted Yisrael Wallis of manslaughter on Wednesday nearly two years after he shook his son, Yitzhak, to death. Wallis's son was three months old when he was killed. Despite the manslaughter conviction, Wallis, 21, was acquitted on charges that he abused the child. The judge, Hannah Ben-Ami, wrote in her decision that the reason for her conviction of Wallis was that she concluded it was "reasonable to believe that there was awareness of the possible fatal outcome" of his actions. The incident occurred in April 2006 and caused a storm in the haredi community of Jerusalem, triggering riots by its members who said that the state was persecuting Wallis merely because he was a haredi and that the affair constituted a "blood libel." Yitzhak Wallis was rushed to a hospital on the night of April 2, suffering from internal bleeding and from bleeding in the retinas of his eyes. Doctors found other signs indicating physical abuse, including teeth marks on his face. According to the indictment, Wallis was upset with the baby because he was born with a defect in his neck muscles. During questioning by police, Wallis at first denied that he had deliberately hurt the infant. He said he had tried to calm him down and that the baby slipped from his hands. Afterwards, however, Wallis admitted that he had bitten the baby in the face, pinched him in the neck and chest and slapped him, because the baby was crying and keeping him from sleeping. Dan Izenberg contributed to this report