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Kissimmee Personal Injury & Criminal Attorney > Blog > Homicide > Fighting Homicide Charges Based On Shaken Baby Syndrome

Fighting Homicide Charges Based On Shaken Baby Syndrome


Your child is dead.  It is a horrific situation, defying explanation.  It was a simple slip in the bathtub– something that occurred in just seconds–and now your child is gone. As miserable as you feel, things are about to get much, much worse.  The ER doctor didn’t buy your account of an accident and reported a suspicion of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS).  The aftermath of the accident  begins with a knock on the door.  Law enforcement.  A representative from the Department of Child and Family Services. They are here to pick up another of your children—deemed at risk of abuse—and to arrest you.  It feels like your life is over. What you need now is an accomplished criminal defense attorney.

Diagnosing SBS 

Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is a diagnosis given to infants and toddlers who present with what’s known as a “triad” of symptoms:

  • Bleeding behind the eyes;
  • Bleeding on the brain’s surface;
  • Swelling of the brain.

When children wind up in emergency rooms with these conditions, medical experts have relied on decades old research that attributes the injuries to violent shaking.  Although parents and caregivers may vehemently deny that abuse has occurred, their claims have been dismissed as simply a ploy to avoid consequences. And that cannot be allowed.

An Alternate Narrative 

It is important to note that SBS has never been more than a theory based on monkey studies done in the 1970s.  But in addition to violent shaking, there are other things that modern studies have shown can result in the triad of symptoms that so commonly lead to criminal charges.  Without question, accidents (such as short falls), are one potential cause.  Diseases and genetic issues are others.  As medical experts have uncovered these new ways to view head injuries in tiny patients, it has led to the overturning of roughly 20 murder convictions in recent years.  The unraveling of shaken baby research has put 100 or more other cases under review.  Experts who formerly believed that SBS was the only explanation for a child’s death and testified to as much are now recanting their testimony.  One forensic pathologist, Dr. Gregory Reiber, wrote a letter to the court explaining that his previous conclusions were based on the information available at the time and consensus opinion, and that new research has forced him to reverse his testimony.  His letter may be the impetus to release an innocent man from prison.

Battling Charges When You are Innocent 

Nothing is more ghastly than child abuse.  But when it didn’t happen and innocents are charged with a homicide, justice can only be found through the efforts of a heavy hitting and unrelenting criminal defense attorney.  At the Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A., our Kissimmee homicide attorneys will provide nothing less.  Schedule a confidential consultation with our criminal defense team today.




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