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Christopher L. Cline gets 3 years for disabling infant son



Published: Thu, August 22, 2013 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Ed Runyan

runyan@vindy.com

WARREN

Christopher L. Cline, 26, of Mauro Circle, has been sentenced to three years in prison and three years’ probation for causing blindness and brain damage by shaking his 6-week-old son in 2009.

Cline admitted to shaking the boy Nov. 6, 2009, in a Warren home. Later that night, after the baby had a seizure, the baby was taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with retinal hemorrhage in both eyes and brain damage, said Diane Barber, assistant Trumbull County prosecutor.

Cline pleaded guilty in July to child endangering, which carried a possible penalty of eight years. He and the prosecutor agreed to the 3-year sentence.

Cline didn’t give an explanation or comment before sentencing by Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, but the baby’s maternal grandmother, Renee Allen, spoke on behalf of the boy, now almost 4 years old.

She said the boy, who Allen and her husband now care for, couldn’t speak for himself in 2009 and can’t speak for himself now, she said.

When the baby was in the hospital after the assault with brain and eye injuries, tubes in his body and other medical devices attached, Cline stood by the child’s bed, Allen said.

“Would [the boy] have said ‘Please don’t hurt me again? What did I do wrong? I’m just a 6-week-old baby. I can’t fight back. I’m helpless.’”

She continued, “Chris, you changed our lives forever that day when you took a perfectly healthy 6-week-old baby and took it upon yourself to hurt him, which has caused permanent damage to [the boy] forever.”

Allen has produced a brochure and plans to lead two types of classes on Shaken Baby Syndrome — one for families having to cope with the consequences of it and one for young parents to educate them on the consequences of shaking a baby or toddler.

“It is OK to ask for help,” Allen said in her brochure. “No matter how stressed or angry you feel, NEVER SHAKE or HIT a baby. This can cause brain damage, blindness, bleeding in the brain or death.”


Comments

1kensgirl(605 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

The problem is idiots having babies when they cannot even take care of themselves. Hundreds of thousands of babies are in the United States alone who are in dysfunctional families where there are alcohol and drugs. This guy had no right to bring a child into this world let alone abuse him horribly. He deserves a much harsher sentence. Guys keep it in your pants before more situations like this happen.

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2Mia213(10 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

He deserves life for the life changing injuries he inflicted upon this poor and helpless infant. Families dealing with these tragidies are also victims. The residual victims should strongly influence the sentencing phase.

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3dmacker(274 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Justice seems to not have been served in this case.

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4southsidedave(4780 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

This is a tragic story, and to think it was the Father who did this to his innocent son...a sick man...Cline will rot in prison for this crime

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5Robert_Neville(123 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

He should have gotten life. Better yet lets shake him until he has brain damage and then send him to prison. The judge did not do this case any justice at all. What do we pay these. Judges for if they. Are worried about over filling a prison. If this happens then we need to just kill them. We to it to unwanted babies every year! Lets start a killer to be killled law sounds fair to me?

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