A New Jersey man has been charged with second-degree murder for causing the death of his Jamaica girlfriend’s 4-month-old son last January, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Jhalil Williams, 29, was arraigned last Tuesday night on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree assault. He was ordered held without bail and to return to court on Dec. 4.
According to the criminal complaint, Williams was solely responsible for the care of his girlfriend’s 4-month-old son, Javion Durett, at her Jamaica residence at approximately 10 pm. on Jan. 24, and that sometime between midnight and 3:18 a.m. on Jan. 25 he inflicted abusive head trauma—also known as shaken baby syndrome, inflicted traumatic brain injury, and shaken impact syndrome—on the child, thereby causing his death, Brown said.
“This is a truly horrific and disturbing case where a helpless 4-month-old infant was left in the care of the defendant who was the mother’s boyfriend,” Brown added. “The alleged actions of the defendant are totally incomprehensible. He now faces serious charges that could lead to his spending the rest of his life behind bars if convicted.”
Abusive head trauma, according to KidsHealth.org, results from injuries caused by someone (most often a parent or other caregiver) vigorously shaking a child or striking the child’s head against a surface. In many cases, the caregiver cannot get the baby to stop crying and, out of frustration or anger, will shake the baby.
“Unfortunately, the shaking may have the desired effect: Although at first the baby cries more, he or she may stop crying as the brain is damaged,” Kids Health notes.
Head trauma is the leading cause of death in child abuse cases in the United States. The average age of victims is between 3 and 8 months.
By Michael V. Cusenza firstname.lastname@example.org