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Dad sentenced 14 years in shaking of infant son

July 14, 2018

A Fort Wayne man was sentenced Friday to 14 years in prison for badly injuring his 3-month-old son, who authorities believe had been shaken.

Eugene Estrada Jr., 28, pleaded guilty to neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury. A charge of being a habitual offender was dropped as part of a plea agreement.

Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull sentenced Estrada to 14 years. He was given credit for 30 days in jail.

The boy’s mother, Morgan J. Braun, 22, is also charged with neglect of a dependent causing serious bodily injury and is scheduled to stand trial in November.

The couple told doctors at a hospital Dec. 31, 2016, that Estrada and the boy had fallen in the shower two days earlier. Showering with his son was something he did often, Estrada told the doctors and nurses. Around 4 p.m., Dec. 29, 2016, Estrada slipped on the wet floor and the shower curtain and rod came down, hitting the boy, he told doctors.

Estrada called Braun, also known as Morgan Putnam, who told Estrada to monitor their baby until she got home from work about 10 p.m. The baby’s appetite wasn’t as good, he was drooling and he had a blank stare, court documents said.

At the hospital, an emergency room doctor said he believed the baby had been shaken and that he was in critical condition due to a brain bleed. The baby’s temperature was 95 degrees and he had two seizures at the hospital. He went on a ventilator for breathing, court records said.

During an investigation, an ophthalmologist found there were hemorrhages behind both eyes and said the child had been shaken. The combination of injuries, including the multiple layers of injury, are caused only by violent repeated shaking of an infant, the ophthalmologist said.

jchapman@jg.net 

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