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Ridgewood dad who shook son to death gets 14 years prison: DA

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Victor Fuentes, of 459 Onderdonk Ave. in Ridgewood, was sentenced last Thursday to 14 years in prison for the death of his 4-month-old son, Victor Xavier Fuentes Jr. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree on Nov. 29 before Queens Supreme Court Justice Robert Hanophy.Fuentes said that on March 16, 2004, he shook the baby because it would not stop crying, the Queens district attorney said. Fuentes was at home alone watching the child, while his wife, who was a senior at Grover Cleveland High School at the time, was at school, law enforcement officials said. According to the criminal complaint, Fuentes told police he lifted the child by its torso and shook it back and forth and side to side until it stiffened, rolled its eyes into its head and went limp.As a result, the child stopped breathing, suffered from retinal hemorrhaging as well as swelling of the brain and 12 broken ribs and black eyes, the DA said. The baby, who was brain damaged, was later pronounced dead.Brown said that Shaken Baby Syndrome is the leading cause of child abuse deaths each year. "(The syndrome's) victims are innocent and helpless children, often injured by those charge to protect them," he said.A spokeswoman from Brown's office said Fuentes' case was not out of the ordinary and the department had prosecuted several where a parent injured or killed a child by shaking them."Never, under any circumstances, should a person shake a baby," Brown said. "The defendant must now live the rest of his life with the knowledge that he is responsible for the death of his young child."Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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