By BRAINERD DISPATCH on Dec 15, 2016 at 9:24 p.m.
AITKIN—Unconditional bond was set at $1 million for a Palisade man accused of killing an infant in November.
John Douglas Peterson, 33, was charged Wednesday in Aitkin County District Court with one count of second-degree felony murder and had his first appearance Thursday in front of Judge Earl Maus. Maus set Peterson's bail at $1 million without conditions and $250,000 with conditions. Conditions include Peterson cannot leave the state, cannot have any contact with the victims, must make all future court appearances and remain law-abiding.
Maus also scheduled Peterson's next court appearance for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 30, 2017.
According to the criminal complaint:
Authorities were notified by the girl's mother at about 1 p.m. Nov. 18 that the girl was taking deep breaths and was barely breathing. Peterson told a first responder that the girl had been fussy, then began having breathing problems and stopped breathing completely. CPR was performed on the girl prior to the ambulance arriving at the house.
The girl was transferred from Riverwood Healthcare Center to Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where staff notified Aitkin County authorities on Nov. 19 that the girl had likely been the victim of physical abuse due to three separate bruises. She died on Nov. 21 as a result of "significant head injuries," the complaint states.
Peterson denied to Children's staff that the baby had fallen.
He later told Children's staff that he hadn't been truthful and that he had dropped her in the sink, where she hit the front of her head on the sink's divider and became unresponsive. A doctor from Midwest Children's Resource Center, a department at Children's specializing in child abuse, examined the girl and determined that her injuries couldn't have been caused by the fall Peterson described.
In an interview with authorities, Peterson said he lost his grip while trying to pick the girl up because she was fussy and flailing. He said the girl fell, hitting her head on the middle of the sink before ricocheting and hitting her head on the bottom of the sink. He said she was gasping for air when he picked her up.
However, when authorities pointed out that his explanation didn't match the girl's injuries, Peterson said the girl also fell from the sink to the floor and that "everything happened so fast and he was trying to prevent her from hitting the floor and because he was trying catch her, it was like he pushed and tried to grab her at the same time and she hit the ground and it was ugly," the complaint states.
In a meeting with authorities on Monday, Peterson again said the girl had rolled out of his arms while he was getting a bottle ready and hit her head on the sink before falling onto the floor.
After authorities pressed him, however, Peterson said he lied "because he was very scared," the complaint states.
He then said that, frustrated because he couldn't calm her down, he threw the baby "with a fair amount of force, like a basketball, approximately 12 feet through the air into the kitchen," where the girl "landed on her back and skidded across the floor approximately a foot before the back of her head struck the lip on the bottom of the cupboards," the complaint states. He said she was gasping for air after hitting the cupboards and he admitted that her skull fracture likely occurred when she hit the floor.
Charge: Minnesota man threw 5-week-old daughter across kitchen, killing her
[email protected] December 15, 2016 — 9:55am
John Douglas Peterson offered authorities multiple versions of how his 5-week-old daughter suffered severe head injuries on Nov. 18 at their home in Palisade, Minn., according to court documents filed in Aitkin County District Court.
Peterson first said the baby was lying on her back on a blanket on the floor when she gasped and began having trouble breathing. Then he said he’d accidentally dropped her while she was fussing and she hit her head on the kitchen sink. Later, he told two different stories about the infant falling from his arms and hitting her head on the sink and the floor.
Doctors said the baby’s injuries, including a skull fracture and subdural bleeding, were from abuse. She died Nov. 21 at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital.
It wasn’t until three weeks after his daughter’s death that Peterson told authorities that he had lost his temper when the baby wouldn’t stop crying and threw his daughter “like a basketball approximately 12 feet through the air into the kitchen.” The baby, identified in a criminal complaint as R.J.P., hit the floor and skidded on her back before hitting her head on a bottom lip of the cabinets.
Peterson, 33, was charged Wednesday in Aitkin County with felony second-degree murder in his daughter’s death. He is being held in the county jail and will make his first court appearance Thursday. His criminal history contained only a few traffic and vehicle infractions.
The Washington Post
His newborn was being fussy. So he threw her into another room, killing her, authorities say.
Contact her at [email protected] .
December 18 at 7:30 AM
Authorities say a Minnesota man threw his newborn daughter 12 feet across his home’s living room and into the kitchen, fatally injuring her.
The reason? She was being fussy, he told investigators.
John Peterson was arrested Tuesday, about three weeks after the death of his 5-week-old, who suffered head injuries that included a skull fracture, NBC affiliate KARE 11 reported .
Officials say Peterson, who has been charged with second-degree murder, lied to officers about how his daughter died. He initially told officers that the infant stopped breathing completely after being “fussy,” KARE reported. He later said his daughter hit her forehead after he accidentally dropped her in the sink.
On Monday, after doctors concluded that Peterson’s account didn’t square with the severity of the infant’s injuries, investigators questioned him about his story.
He admitted that he became frustrated with his daughter, who was screaming and crying, KARE reported. He lost his temper and threw her 12 feet into the kitchen.
Peterson told investigators that the infant “landed on her back and skidded across the floor” before her head hit the bottom of the cupboards, the Brainerd Dispatch reported , citing the complaint.
The 33-year-old said he lied to investigators because he “was very scared,” KARE reported.
First responders were called to a home in Palisade, Minn., a small town more than 130 miles north of Minneapolis, on Nov. 18. The child’s mother told first responders that her daughter was having breathing problems, KARE reported.
The infant died three days later.
Calls and emails by The Washington Post to the Aitkin County sheriff and prosecutor were not returned Saturday.
Peterson is in custody in the Aitkin County Jail, according to an online jail roster .
He appeared in Aitkin County District Court on Thursday, and his bond has been set at $1 million, according to news reports.
Second-degree murder in Minnesota is punishable by at least 40 years in prison .
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about 1,640 children died in 2012 because of maltreatment, which involves both child neglect and physical abuse. Seventy percent of those who died were younger than 3.
Often, the parents are the perpetrators of abuse, the CDC says. In 2012, 80 percent of perpetrators in reported child abuse or neglect cases were the parents.
— Brainerd Minnesota (@BrainerdMinnes)
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Saturday, January 28, 2017, 4:06 AM
It took city officials five months to confirm what neighbors suspected immediately: 3-year-old Caleb Rivera was a murder victim.
“I had an idea,” said Nikki Whatley, 39, who performed CPR on the gaunt little boy outside their East Harlem apartment building last August.
“I still see that boy’s eyes in my nightmare and in my dreams,” said Whatley, the mother of four. “That boy was lifeless when I got to him.”
Caleb’s death was declared a homicide Friday after the city medical examiner determined he was killed by multiple blows to the head and neck.
The boy’s mother, who was in their apartment with two men when Caleb was mortally injured, insisted she had no idea who was to blame for her son’s killing.
“I am not talking to anybody about anything,” mom Alexandra Guzman said from behind the door of her apartment on Friday. “I am not giving up anything. Why are you harassing me?”
Asked specifically who killed little Caleb Rivera, the mother answered, “Nobody. It was — have a good day. Nobody. That is the only answer you’ll get from me.”
Construction worker Adrian Rivera, 24, the child’s father, said he’s suspected for months that Guzman was hiding something.
“He was a happy healthy baby and I loved my baby,” he said. “They should both go to jail. I want to know: Did he do this and then she covered up? If the police won’t do something, I will.”
Rivera said after he and Guzman broke up, she barred him from seeing Caleb. He said he begged her to bring the baby to his mother’s house. “She wouldn’t. I texted her the week before (Caleb died): ‘Please bring me my baby.’ She said she was good where she was. She wouldn’t bring him to me, and then this happened.”
April, Child Abuse Awareness month, has passed. It went by without any comment from the Director of Social Services, Ted Myers (“…blood is thicker than water…”, or attorney Andrew Wolf, (“…we do the legally correct thing…”).
interviews with Santa Barbara’s KEYT-TV a few of years ago on the question
raised by a Ventura County Star editorial regarding the whereabouts of Mario,
these gentlemen, in making the above statements, attempted to explain why Social Service workers,
and an a child advocate attorney advocate and/or permit the re-unification of
an abused child with its abuser(s). Mario was a toddler beaten into a coma by his mother. Social workers reunified Mario with his mother even though he continued to be abused.
We have heard, and continue to hear, numerous times that Social Services’ purpose is to protect children from abuse. The child’s advocate in Court is supposed to also protect their right to freedom from abuse. Neither succeeds.
And the reason they do not is revealed by their statements. Their hands are tied. Mr. Wolf is correct, re-unification is the legally correct thing to do, never mind that questions of ethics and morality are raised by the re-unification of a person who lacks love and parenting skills with a child who is helpless to speak for or defend himself.
And, yes, though it is a convenient and telling euphemism, blood is thicker than water. It merely goes to prove the point that a tiny human feels a craving for and needs love from the only caregiver it has known from birth. Though the child bonds, the adult may not want to or cannot commit to a responsibility.
Congress, in its infinite wisdom, saw the tragedies brought about by the abuse of children. They saw not only the physical and emotional effects, but also acknowledged that deaths of children were sometimes the outcome of such conduct. They further saw the financial toll upon society, not only for the treatment of the physical and emotional injuries, but upon the fact that some of these children become a financial burden rather than positive contributors to society. As Congress does best they began the battle against child abuse by passing laws, in this case, Title 42 of the United States Code, Chapter 67, Section 5106a.
This released money to fund Social Services and created responsibilities to fund programs. It created a confidentiality clause to protect not only the child’s identity and reputation but also that of the abuser. It required every State to pass a law saying that re-unification of the abused with its abuser was not required. But it also stated that despite a parent or caregiver having killed or assaulted a child the State (read as Judge), could, on a case by case basis, reunify a child of the sibling with the killer or abuser. Congress sat back; it had passed a law to protect children.
words, blood is thicker than water and re-unification is the legally correct
thing to do, regardless of what further injuries the
child will suffer.
I recently attended a meeting where I listened to
gut-wrenching stories from adults who feared for the safety of their children
who were reporting sexual crimes against them by family members. As the founder of The Children’s Wall of
Tears™, these stories are not new to me as I hear hundreds of cases each year.
Recently Leo and I visited the great city of Oklahoma and toured the Oklahoma Bombing Memorial. Without a doubt, this memorial strengthened our faith in the American people, our patriotism and our feelings against terrorism. We could not help but walk away from this great monument with a passion that undoubtedly carved our futures. Throughout our tour of the memorial we could not help but think about the 168 lives lost in this horrific event. There was one particular photo on the wall of the daycare center showing children that were signed-in that fateful day. It haunts us. What madman would callously murder innocent children, let alone adults?
We read every sign and studied every photo in the museum. We were overwhelmed with sadness and rage at the very same time. We began to systematically think about terrorism and what it really means and how it affects our lives.
the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terroization.
a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.
Terrorism begins with creating a fear within the victim and escalates quickly to injury and in many cases death. Until September 11, 2001, few Americans were aware that terror existed beyond that seen on movies or on TV. After 911, we became aware of our vulnerability to suffering at the hands of people who find it acceptable to inflict pain on innocent people without blinking an eye. The bombing in Oklahoma City traumatized this great nation. We were forced to face the anxiety of knowing that at any time, in any place, violence can strike, and in that respect, we are now victims of terrorism.
While we feel a deep sadness for the victims of the attacks in New York City and Washington D.C., the plane crash in Pennsylvania and their families and the Oklahoma City Bombing and their families, who have lived to suffer the devastating pain of the loss of a loved one, we began to think about the children here in the United States who live under this anxiety every day. How did we overlook their terrorism? Most call it child abuse. We call it child cruelty.
In child’s world, violence comes not at the hands of politically motivated extremists, but from their parents or caregivers. Suffering comes not from weapons of mass destruction, but fists, belts, scalding water, locked in dark closets, and cruel words. Attacks are not a rare occurrence, but a daily reality. Knowing that it is coming is the epitome of terrorism especially since a child is incapable of defending himself and does not know where to turn to avoid the torture and pain of neglect or abuse.
We kept thinking about the fact that while we watched news coverage of buildings crumbling and thousands of terrified, innocent people running for their lives, young spirits are being crushed at the hands of heartless adults with no high-profile media coverage to spark a country to awareness and action. Yes, we occasionally see, hear and read of young victims being abused or killed, but, few people are moved to act. The usual response to such news is an “…Oh, no!...” statement, and then on to breaking news.
While troops of rescue workers sift through debris in a desperate attempt to recover victims, young children are cowering in corners after yet another merciless beating, wondering if anyone cares enough to rescue them. While an entire nation mourns for the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks and the Oklahoma City Bombing, abused children continue to suffer horrifically with no tears of sadness shed on their behalf. Is it apathy on the part of the general public? Apparently so. we don’t see any great rush of humanity at the breaking story of another child being beaten or killed. Nor do we see more than platitudes from public officials or legislators. Yes, you will hear comments that such and such should be investigated. You hear that so and so is understaffed, overworked, and over whelmed but you do not hear from the front line workers who deal with child abuse on a daily basis.
For the past 25 years, we have been working to increase America’s awareness to the horrors of child cruelty and to bring the reality of the unimaginable level of physical and mental suffering these children deal with to the forefront.
We have written numerous commentaries and letters to the editors of newspapers and given speeches and talks to various groups and organizations. We have spoken in Washington, D.C. before a distinguished group of professionals and even sponsored a law in the California Legislature to provide computerized criminal history to child protective service workers so that they do not reunify the child with criminals. Unfortunately, that law failed in the appropriations department. Apparently $50,000 for the entire State of California is not worth protecting children. We have spent anguished hours over the opposition we have received and welcomed the pats on the back. But, child cruelty continues and children continue to live the daily terror awaiting the next blow.
Statistics show that everyday, scores of children are terrorized by abusive parents and that list continues to grow each year. Every 10 seconds a child is abused. Every 5 hours a child is killed. In cold, hard terms that means that every day a small hand is held over a flame, an infant is dipped in scalding water, a child is forced to swallow household cleansers, an empty stomach grumbles while parents eat, a terrified toddler trembles in a dark, locked closet, a tiny arm is broken, a life comes to a premature end. The scenes of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were difficult to look at, but, they can’t compare to the scenes that flash in front of the small eyes of an abused child.
I leave it to you to decide if a child, under these circumstances, is experiencing not only terror but wondering when it all will end.
The unified resolve shown by the American people following the recent terrorist attacks is impressively powerful and elicits confidence that swift, sure action will be taken to punish and prevent terrorist acts. If only that same level of mass resolve were focused on saving abused children. If only our country stood unified in the defense of these helpless children, how many young victims of daily terrorism could be saved? How many small spirits could be recovered? How many terrorists could be stopped?
We wonder what horrendous atrocity must occur to a child before every American resolves to put an end to child cruelty in every home in which it occurs.We have stated before, in print and speeches, that there is a pandemic of child cruelty throughout the world. Now, with the advent of the bird flu, mad cow disease, tainted spinach, Aids and other “epidemics”, the word pandemic has become as familiar to us as the word terrorism and, unfortunately, we must now state that a pandemic of child cruelty now exists on this Planet.
Simply put in perspective, if a
disease were killing hundreds of children in America each year, the Center for Disease
Control would mobilize everything it could to find the cause. Federal and State governments would spend
millions on treatment and trying to find a cure. No stone would be left un-turned and no sum of
money would be too great in an effort to end the pandemic. Over 3,000 children are kiled through abuse and neglect each year. Is that not an epidemic in your eyes?
Yes, our lives were forever changed by our visit to the Oklahoma Bombing Memorial
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Body of Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found Near Lake Cachuma as His Father Is Accused of His Murder
The body of a missing 5-year-old California boy last seen in late April has been found near a Santa Barbara County lake, homicide detectives confirmed to PEOPLE Saturday.
Aramazd Andressian Jr. was found near Lake Cachuma on Friday, after additional leads brought homicide detectives back to the area searching for additional evidence.
The discovery came hours after the boy’s father, Aramazd Andressian Sr., was extradited to Los Angeles where he has been charged with the 5-year-old’s murder. The 35-year-old man was detained on June 23 in Las Vegas in connection with his son’s death, and is being held on $10 million bail on a single murder count.
The boy was last seen on April 20, when he and his father visited Disneyland in Anaheim, California. They left the theme park around midnight.
Within a week of the boy’s disappearance, police arrested his dad on suspicion of one count of child endangerment and one count of child abduction. But they released him days later , citing “insufficient evidence.” It was not immediately clear what prompted his re-arrest.
Officials confirm that Andressian, Sr. and his wife, Ana Estevez, are embroiled in a bitter divorce, but they shared custody of their son.
Andressian, Jr. was supposed to be dropped off by his father in San Marino, California, on April 22 — but the elder Andressian failed to show. Instead, he was found passed out near his car in a nearby park. Police have alleged that the inside of his car was doused with gasoline and there were matches in his vehicle.
Andressian, Sr. told investigators he believed he was attacked, but he had no memory of the assault. He also told police he had taken some prescription medication that morning before falling unconscious, CNN reported .
“There has been a great deal of speculation regarding the timeline around his disappearance,” Andressian, Sr. wrote in a statement issued nearly a week after his son vanished. “The last time I saw my son was on Saturday morning, the 22nd, at Arroyo Park near my home in South Pasadena. After breakfast Aramazd Jr. wanted to go to the park before we were to meet his mother for a custody exchange at 9:00 a.m.”
“In one moment, I was at the park with my son, and then I found myself waking up in Huntington Memorial Hospital hours later,” he continued. “I was told that a good Samaritan found me unconscious on the ground near my car, with young Aramazd nowhere in sight. I can only speculate that I must have been attacked in the park, given my unresponsive state and subsequent physical condition.”
“My family and I are heartbroken and grief-stricken that Aramazd Jr. is missing and may be in harm’s way,” he continued. “I am pleading with the public to come forward with any knowledge of Aramazd Jr.’s whereabouts or information regarding the circumstances leading up to his disappearance.”
Estevez has also spoken publicly , pleading for the public’s help at a May news conference with law enforcement.
“There are no words to describe how devastated and heartbroken I am,” Estevez said through tears, before speaking directly to her son. “This message is for you my love: Be brave, honey. Don’t ever forget that mama loves you to the moon and the stars. I am counting the days until I see you honey, and I will never stop looking for you.”
“To those who are concealing my son, I pray every day that God will touch your heart and guide you to do the right thing and return my son,” she said.
Anyone with any information about this ongoing case can call the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department at 323-890-5500 or police in South Pasadena, California, at 626-403-7297.