Oklahoma Father Accused Of Shaking Baby To Blindness Will Stand Trial


Wednesday, August 26th 2015, 6:54 pm
By: News On 6


A Tulsa man must stand trial for child abuse after prosecutors say he shook his 4-month-old daughter so hard, she’s now blind.

A detective and a doctor testified against Cornelius Shanklin on Wednesday, and the judge ruled there's enough evidence for him to go to trial.

About a dozen members of the baby’s family showed up to support the case in court and they all wore matching T-shirts that say “Justice for MaAliyah."

MaAliyah's family members filled two rows inside the courtroom as they listened to the testimony of a child  crisis detective and a pediatrician who specializes in abuse cases.

MaAliyah's mother, Mandy, waited outside the courtroom doors, ready to testify if needed against her husband.

The detective says Shanklin told police he was watching his daughter and toddler son the night MaAliyah was injured, and he could tell she had a skull fracture and didn't look right and wouldn't stop crying.

He told police he was upstairs and thought maybe she rolled off her pillow and hit her head or their son did something to her.

A pediatrician says MaAliyah did have a skull fracture in the back of her head, bleeding in her brain and both her retinas were detached.

She testified someone would have to violently shake a baby and hit her head on something to cause those injuries.

She testified a toddler isn't strong enough or coordinated enough to shake a baby that hard, and even if a toddler dropped the baby, it would only cause bruising, not those injuries.

She also testified the baby could not at that age roll over or crawl, so couldn't cause the injuries herself.

She told the judge MaAliyah likely will be blind the rest of her life.

"She's innocent,” the pediatrician said. “She couldn't protect herself."

As it turned out, MaAliyah's mother was not called to testify, and she was relieved to learn the judge ordered her husband to stand trial.

In addition to the child abuse charge, a charge of child neglect also was added. Prosecutors argued Shanklin did not get medical help for MaAliyah in a timely manner.

The folks at Broken Arrow Pediatrics have been caring for MaAliyah since birth as her main pediatricians and are taking donations to help with all her medical needs, MaAliyah's mother can't work right now, so they are taking donations at the clinic of food, diapers, clothing and gift cards for gas and groceries.

Medical Assistant with Broken Pediatrics Krista Shelton said, "Here, we treat everybody like family.”

They can be dropped off at the clinic on Tuesdays from 2-5 p.m. or Thursdays from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. The last day for donations will be Sept. 11, and you can drop them off all day that day from 8 a.m.-5p.m. MaAliyah wears sizes 4-5 in diapers and in 6-9 months in clothes.

The clinic is located at 1220 N. Elm in Broken Arrow (half-mile west of the BA Expressway on 161st (Elm.)