In June, a Newport News jury convicted a man of violently shaking his three-month-old baby, leaving her with permanent brain injuries.
November 2 to 4, 2012, Andrew Stephens was home alone with the baby while the child’s mother was away on military duty. At some time during those days, Stephens violently shook the girl. After she began to vomit, became limp, and had trouble breathing, he took her to the hospital where she had a seizure.
Expert doctors at CHKD who treated the baby found she had hemorrhaging in her right eye along with splitting of the retina layers in that eye, subdural hematomas on both sides of her head, a broken clavicle and brain injuries. These injuries are those commonly seen in a child that has been violently shaken. Prior to the weekend, the baby girl had no medical problems.
Stephens was found guilty of aggravated malicious wounding due to the permanent injury his daughter suffered. Doctors anticipate ongoing developmental difficulties as the child grows up. Stephens will be formally sentenced in August but a jury recommended he be sentenced to 20 years in prison.