A father who shook and critically injured his baby more than eight years ago was hit Friday with murder charges for the child’s death.
Kashawn Butler, 26, of 69 Old River Road, was charged after his son, born Sincere Butler, died at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital on June 15, 2019. The child, who was later renamed Isaiah J. Pentz, was 7 years old.
The obituary submitted by his adoptive family in Grampian said he “smiled for the first time, taking his first steps as he ran into the arms of Jesus.”
Assistant District Attorney Jarrett J. Ferentino, the lead prosecutor, said he was committed to getting justice for Isaiah.
“As a father, child death cases are especially difficult, but I’m inspired by baby Isaiah’s fight to survive as long as he did,” Ferentino said. “Even though his time on this earth was far too short, we will pursue justice in this case.”
According to the complaint, Butler was watching his son on Dec. 4, 2011, while the mother went to a store and that the baby threw up while he was feeding him a bottle.
The baby also cried and made a noise Butler didn’t like, so he shook him, the complaint says. During questioning by police, Butler said he didn’t mean to hurt Isaiah but that the crying and spitting up had upset him, the charges say.
Isaiah, who stopped breathing as a result of being shaken, was taken to Geisinger Medical Center Danville, where doctors diagnosed him with internal bleeding consistent with shaken baby syndrome.
Doctors predicted that Isaiah had a one-third chance of dying and that if he lived he would most likely be in a persistent vegetative state, the complaint says.
The complaint says that after Isaiah died, an autopsy determined he died of pneumonia and a seizure disorder caused by complications of his traumatic brain injury.
Butler was initially charged with aggravated assault and related offenses in the case, and was sentenced to five years, nine months to 12½ years in prison after pleading no contest to the charges.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Butler entered state prison Dec. 4, 2012, and was paroled Oct. 3, 2018. He was re-incarcerated Nov. 18, 2019, for violating his parole and was released again Thursday, according to the department.
However, authorities said Butler remained in custody and was set to be arraigned by video on the criminal homicide charge.
A preliminary hearing date had not been immediately set.
This article was originally published by Citizensvoice.com.
Scott Juceam is one of the leading advocates against Shaken Baby Syndrome. Scott’s life changed when his daughter Hannah was shaken to death by her nanny in 2006. Since then, Scott has dedicated his life to preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome and child abuse.