Elmhurst dad pleads guilty to violently shaking baby daughter

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An Elmhurst father, whose infant daughter remains on life support after he violently shook, her has pleaded guilty to felony assault and will be sentenced to 14 years in prison, the district attorney said.

Israel Garcia, 28, pleaded guilty in Queens Supreme Court on November 19 to first-degree assault and admitted to violently shaking his then two-month old daughter last May to stop her from crying, District Attorney Richard A. Brown said.

Maria Gordillo — Garcia’s biological daughter — suffered permanent life-threatening injuries, Brown said, including bleeding in the brain and left eye, multiple rib fractures and various bruises on her left foot and back.

The injuries were determined to be consistent with non-accidental inflicted abusive head trauma, including shaken baby syndrome, according to a criminal complaint.

“Shaken baby syndrome is the leading cause of child abuse deaths each year,” Brown said. “Its victims are innocent and helpless children, often injured by those charged to protect them.”

Garcia said he was tired and frustrated from work on May 28, when he came home and heard his daughter crying. He admitted to forcefully grabbing and squeezing her around the torso and repeatedly moving her up and down for about three minutes until she stopped crying and appeared to be asleep, a criminal complaint said.

The Queens dad then confessed he saw the baby’s head moving back and forth before she stopped breathing and went limp, the district attorney said.

Justice Elisa Koenderman indicated she would condemn Garcia — who has agreed to make an educational video on shaken baby syndrome — to 14 years in prison when he is sentenced on December 10, Brown said.