Father gets prison for shaking infant

Published: Dec. 14, 2016 at 2:13 PM PST
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A Reno man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty to severely shaking his baby.

22-year-old Shawn Wesley Gentry will not be eligible for parole until he serves 21 years. Gentry had pleaded guilty to three counts of Child Abuse Resulting in Substantial Bodily or Mental Harm.

May 31, 2016, Washoe County Sheriff's deputies and paramedics responding to a report of an unconscious baby found the six-week-old boy in cardiac arrest. At a hospital, he was found to have severe head trauma, bruising on his body, and a fractured femur.

Investigators say the boy had been left alone with his father, Mr. Gentry, and determined the injuries were caused by abuse, with violent shaking causing permanent brain damage in the baby.

According to the Washoe County District Attorney's Office, as a result, the baby has significant developmental delays and receives all nutrition through a surgically placed G-tube. A treating pediatrician called the retinal hemorrhaging and a fracture to the baby’s leg the worst she had ever seen.

Among the aggravating factors cited by Deputy District Attorney Amos Stege at sentencing was that Gentry waited at least 40 minutes from the time of the shaking and abuse to call 911. Gentry also sent a text message to the boy’s mother containing a photograph of the injured baby and the message, “Whats wrong with him he acts like he cant open his one eye “Im done with it im always hurting him and I don’t f*** mean to next time u tak him hes just to f**** fragile for me to handle.”

Stege also pointed to the lifelong impact of the permanent brain injury on the boy, his mother, and her family in urging a lengthy prison sentence. The prosecution called it “a selfish, intentional, and cowardly act” deserving of maximum and consecutive sentences. The defense asked for a minimum of two years prison.

District Attorney Chris Hicks says, “What Gentry did to this vulnerable and defenseless baby is horrifying. He is an evil human being that deserves every second he’ll serve in that prison cell.”