Shaken baby syndrome case finally ends with plea deal

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A man who injured his seven-week old child and gave her shaken baby syndrome will spend almost 20 years behind bars.

The four-year old case in Limestone County finally ended Monday although the child is still in recovery. Robert Elliott took a plea agreement saying he’ll spend 18 years in the state prison.

The district attorney says Elliott’s four-year old daughter is now in a wheelchair and can’t speak. He’s glad the only shaken baby case he’s worked in 25 years is over and the family can try to move on.

The criminal complaint says in 2014 Elliott willfully dropped the child, causing her brain to bleed. Officers say she also had a cracked rib. It appeared to amount to shaken baby syndrome. 

Elliott’s daughter was in the court room when a mistrial was declared in September.

“He has now had the chance to see two different jury panels look him in the eye, hear what he’s been accused of,” said Brian Jones, Limestone County district attorney. “That had a lot to do with it as well.”

Jones means it had a lot to do with taking a plea deal. He hopes the case makes people realize the harm that can be done shaking an infant.

“Shaken baby syndrome is very serious,” Jones said. “We want the awareness for the general public to come out of the fact, how serious it is when you shake a child, how badly you can injure a child. And that’s one case that we see is sometimes parents don’t realize when they’re shaking a child the damage that they’re causing that brain and the injuries they’re gonna sustain for that child.”

Elliott’s defense attorney did not want to comment. He mentioned the case had lasted four years and referred WZDX News to the plea agreement.

Jones says Elliott was in jail in another state and that’s part of what made the case last four years. He wishes the young girl all the best in her recovery in intensive therapy.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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