Indictment accuses man of shaking son to death

A year after a twin baby died and his sister was injured after alleged shaking, state charges father with manslaughter.

Twin babies sleeping 390 (R) (photo credit: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann)
Twin babies sleeping 390 (R)
(photo credit: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann)
The state on filed an indictment charging a father with manslaughter to the Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday, regarding an incident last year in which the suspect was accused of shaking his baby to death.
The indictment charges the Gush Dan resident with killing his baby son, and assaulting and abusing his twin sister.
According to the indictment the man shook his four-month-old baby and hit him in the head twice. The baby died from his injuries two weeks after the suspected incident.
The prosecution seeks to prevent the father from leaving the country or contacting prosecution witnesses.
A gag order was imposed on the defendant's details.
The Justice Ministry released a statement almost half a year ago, that it would seek to indict the father for manslaughter, but not the mother.
The state said that after examining the case, it has sufficient evidence that the father shook the twins and that his actions led to the death of one of them.
The state said it will argue that the death was caused unintentionally, but that the father did intentionally commit acts of violence against the baby who died and those acts of violence did cause the baby’s death – making an allegation of manslaughter appropriate.
Reacting to the announcement at the time, the parents’ attorney Zion Amir told The Jerusalem Post: “We welcome the prosecution’s decision not to press charges against the mother. Regarding the father, we are hopeful that during the hearing process that is set to occur within the upcoming month we will be able to prove that charges should also not be brought against the father.”
The parents have previously claimed that the baby who died suffered from a rare genetic disease.
The investigation started shortly after the twins were brought to Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer and hospitalized with bone fractures, when the National Council for the Child called on police to investigate whether they were victims of “shaken baby” syndrome.
The twins were rushed to the hospital in January with internal injuries. At the time Prof. Gidi Porat, director of Intensive Care at the hospital, said they did not rule out the possibility that the babies suffered from a genetic disease.
Shaken baby syndrome is an intermediate condition between an accident and physical abuse of children.
The shaking of the head and neck can cause serious brain damage, head fractures and broken ribs. Most parents, or other adults, do not intend to harm infants, but rather seek to quiet them out of frustration over their crying.
Yonah Jeremy Bob and Joanna Paraszczuk contributed to this report.