Conviction of Mentally Retarded Defendant of Malicious Wounding for Injuries Suffered by Infant from "Shaken Baby Syndrome" Upheld

Funk v. Commonwealth, No. 1821- 02-4, 2003 WL 21524686 (Va. Ct. App. July 8, 2003); 18(8) Virginia Lawyers Weekly 185-86 (July 28, 2003)

Although the defendant was mentally retarded with an IQ of 65 and his lawyer argued he did not understand the fragility of his six-week-old son, the Virginia Court of Appeals ruled the defendant was properly convicted of malicious wounding for the permanent injuries suffered by the child from "shaken baby syndrome." The court noted these injuries left the child severely retarded, the child was under the sole care of the defendant, and he eventually admitted he shook the victim three times and may have been too rough.  The court determined the jury could reasonably infer from the violence necessary to cause such severe and extensive injury that the defendant intended that which resulted...

Found in DMHL Volume 23 Issue 1