Murder charges can frequently result in cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Shaken Baby Syndrome involves allegations where a defendant is accused of shaking a baby or toddler with such ferocity that death results. manslaughter One of the biggest issues in murder cases involving shaken baby syndrome is whether the government can prove that the defendant acted with malice or the intent to kill when the shaking occurred. Looking at cases which do not involve shaken baby victims, where death resulted as a result of weaponless violence, Pennsylvania Courts have held that malice (which is required for Third Degree Murder cases) may be inferred based on the circumstances of the case, and factors “such as the assailant’s size and the ferocity and duration of the attack. However, in cases where a single push improbably caused death, such as in a Pennsylvania case named the Commonwealth vs. MacArthur, where said push propelled a man over a porch railing causing him to fall on his head from a height of four feet, courts have not found sufficient malice to sustain a conviction for 3rd degree murder. Make sure to contact the experienced Chester County Criminal Lawyers at the Bellwoar Kelly, LLP.
There are a number of cases in Pennsylvania dealing with Murder which occurred as a result of Shaken Baby Syndrome. In Commonwealth v. Buss, a case that was tried in Lycoming County, a child abuse specialist testified that the child victim suffered Shaken Impact Syndrome, leading to a subdural hematoma, causing his death. Unauthorized entry on school bus The doctor also testified that the injuries could not have been self-inflicted and could not have happened by the child having fallen which is what the Defendant explained happened. Finally, the doctor also said that the “amount of force used to cause the injuries would have been so severe that anybody would have recognized such as inappropriate. The Court held that a showing of this degree of injury was sufficient evidence of malice.