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Conviction in Quadruplets Abusing

November 9, 1999

PHOENIX (AP) _ A woman was convicted of child abuse Tuesday for shaking her quadruplets so hard that they suffered fractured skulls, broken ribs and other injuries. One child was left blind and deaf.

Elizabeth Whittle, 25, muttered, ``I never hurt my babies,″ bowing her head and sobbing loudly.

Her husband, Anthony Perez, was convicted of failing to notify authorities or get prompt medical attention for the infants.

Three months after being showered with gifts at the birth of her quadruplets in 1998, Ms. Whittle was allegedly overheard making a chilling admission about one of her celebrated babies: ``I think I shook it too hard this time. I may have broke its back.″

Ms. Whittle was convicted of 13 of 14 counts of child abuse. She could get up to 130 years in prison at sentencing Dec. 9.

Whittle’s attorneys said the injuries were caused by Whittle’s daughter Erica, who has Down syndrome and was 6 at the time the infants were hospitalized in 1998. Prosecutors said the injuries were too severe to have been caused by a child.

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