A Moline father will spend five years in prison for critically abusing his baby son in a fit of anger, after the boy’s big brother told the judge that “Daddy hit the baby’s head on the couch.”
Police say Derek Porter, 28, was watching his baby son Jayden and struck the 7-month-old’s head against the arm of the couch when he wouldn’t stop crying. The blow fractured Jayden’s skull and caused major swelling of his brain.
“If you’re angry with your child, call somebody. Walk away. Don’t shake them,” said the baby’s mother, Jessica Kraklow after Wednesday’s sentencing hearing. “I was hoping for thirty years, but it’s better than nothing,” she said.
It happened July 11th, 2010 but the case took nearly two years from beginning to end. Porter’s then-five-year-old son testified against him in the case.
“He said his dad hit his baby brother’s head on the couch. The hard part, and he showed me,” said Jayden’s aunt, Leah Christy.
Christy says Porter was a good father to the two boys, but did the unforgivable.
“The thing to take away from this is if you are stressed, if you are angry, put your baby down and walk away. There are numerous things you can do, and abuse isn’t one of them,” Christy said.
The now two-year-old is a survivor, but his mom says it’s too early to tell the extent of Jayden’s brain damage.
The baby’s grandmother says Jayden stopped breathing twice while being airlifted to the hospital in Peoria. He suffered nine seizures and a stroke.
“He’s on seizure medicine. They say there will probably be speech delays, developmental delays. It’s too early to tell. He’s only two,” Kraklow said after court.
“We all struggle with children, when they are upset and crying, sometimes there’s nothing you can do for them, but that’s the last thing in the world you do is hurt your child,” said Shelly Kraklow.
Judge Frank Fuhr said it was “a very close case,” and sentenced Porter to the minimum six years for the abuse, and four years for violating his parole.
In real time however, and with credit for time served, Porter will serve just over five years.