Man who violently shook baby for interrupting his video game playing gets 5 years in prison
A young Reno mother-of-two on Christmas Eve had left her infant son in the care of her boyfriend so she could run a quick errand
From the couch where William Arthur Miskelly was playing a video game, he could hear the 4-month-old crying.
“Shut the (expletive) up!” Miskelly yelled across the room, said Deputy District Attorney Elliott Sattler.
When the child did not stop, Miskelly’s rage grew as his video game playing continued to be interrupted by the cries.
So he picked up the baby and tightly gripped him around his rib cage. He then violently shook him for about one minute, he told police. During the shaking, the baby’s head whipped back and forward. Miskelly told detectives he then threw the baby on the bed and continued yelling. Suddenly, the child’s eyes rolled back in its head and began suffering a seizure. He immediately suffered damage to his eyes and vision.
For causing unknown permanent brain damage to the infant, Washoe District Court Judge Brent Adams on Friday sentenced Miskelly up to five years in prison. The 26-year-old will be eligible for parole after serving a year and a half.
The difficulty in this case is that the child’s (permanent) injuries are unknown,” Sattler said, adding the baby has been placed in foster care. “This wasn’t a simple injury resulting from someone losing their temper. He picked up a helpless infant and shook him.”
Miskelly asked Adams for probation. So did the baby’s young mother, who said she wanted him to undergo counseling. She told Adams that doctors said there is a 15 percent chance the boy will become mentally retarded, and will likely suffer behavior and problem-solving difficulties as a result of the shaking.
“I know the urge to shake,” the woman said. “I’ve been upset, but I’ve never shaken. But I’ve felt like it before. I don’t understand taking the actual step to do it.”
Had her son’s injuries been worse, she said she would have demanded prison.