Violent Shaking of a Baby Resulted In Aggravated Battery Conviction
In People v. Rader, 272 Ill. App. 3d 796, 209 Ill. Dec. 330, 651 N.E.2d 258 (1995), defendant was convicted of the aggravated battery of his 4 1/2 month-old baby.
Medical testimony revealed that the baby sustained a subdural hematoma to the brain and brain swelling. the baby's injuries were permanent.
An ophthalmologist specializing in retinal repair testified about massive retinal hemorrhaging.
Like the child in Renteria, the baby in Rader suffered from shaken baby syndrome and his injuries were therefore consistent with repeated, violent shaking. Rader, 272 Ill. App. 3d at 799.
Defendant, however, told the police that he shook the baby to revive him after he believed the baby was having a seizure.
Defendant also presented evidence from a family member and a friend that they never observed defendant abuse his children and that defendant appeared to be a caring father. Rader, 272 Ill. App. 3d at 800-01.
Defendant argued on appeal that the State failed to present sufficient evidence to support a knowing or intentional mental state.
Rejecting defendant's argument, the appellate court, as in Renteria, focused on the permanent and severe injuries that the baby sustained and the medical testimony that only repeated, violent shaking could cause these type of injuries. Rader, 272 Ill. App. 3d at 805.
The court stated that "a rational trier of fact could infer defendant must have known of the substantial probability of causing injury to the victim based on the severity of violence necessary to cause the injuries." Rader, 272 Ill. App. 3d at 805.
The court further explained that the disparity in size between defendant and his baby provided an evidentiary basis from which "a rational trier of fact could find that defendant must have been aware that any violent shaking by him of a tiny infant would have the substantial probability of causing great bodily harm." Rader, 272 Ill. App. 3d at 805.