2009-01-30 / Front Page

Busted For Shaking Fiancée's Baby

By Howard Schwach

AFar Rockaway man has been arraigned on charges of shaking his fiancée's baby so hard that it caused the child to sustain life-threatening injuries and brain damage, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Brown said that the defendant, identified as Walter Sanderson, 35, of 331 Beach 32 Street, "violently shook a helpless and defenseless, perfectly healthy two-year-old boy for whom he was supposed to be caring."

Court documents show that two-yearold Brian Wilson was fine and playing normally when his mother, Latoya Short, left for work at 8:10 a.m. on Sunday, January 25. At about 8:30 a.m., Sanderson told police, he placed the child on the living room couch and left the room to watch television. When he returned, he said, he found the child unresponsive on the living room floor.

Sanderson suggested to responding police officers that the baby had fallen off the couch.

The child was transported to St. John's Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway and then transferred to Long Island Jewish Hospital.

According to the court papers, Dr. Debra Esernio-Jenssen, the chief of the child abuse team at Long Island Jewish Hospital, reported that Brian was unresponsive when he was brought in, suffering from bleeding on the brain and in both eyes. In addition, court records show, he was suffering from oxygen deprivation to the brain and cerebral swelling.

Court papers allege that the injuries to the baby are consistent with the nonaccidental trauma of shaken baby syndrome and not consistent with the defendant's account of how the child became injured.

Sanderson was arraigned on Monday on charges of first degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

He was ordered held on $200,000 bail. Sanderson faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

His next court date was set for February 2.

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