Parents try to blame toddler for baby's death

Tara - posted on 05/28/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Re-posted from the stir

http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/113689/p...

Benjamin SensemanThere are few things more horrifying than parents who kill their children, but parents who kill their baby, then try to blame it on their toddler certainly qualify.

Last week in Kentucky, Benjamin Senseman was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in the death of his 2-month-old daughter, Chloe, who died from a "severe blow to the head." She was also injured three other times during her short 62-day life -- an autopsy showed she had six broken ribs, a broken arm, and two broken legs.

During the trial Senseman said if he injured the girl, it was by accident and that it could have been his 2-year-old son, Cole, that killed her. Friends and family were called upon to talk about how rough and aggressive the boy was.

How dare they?

To think that in order to save themselves these parents (the mother was charged too, but acquitted) would offer up their son is one of the most selfish things imaginable. There should be extra charges added for that alone.

It's not that a 2-year-old couldn't injure an infant. I know plenty of strong, strapping 2-year-olds that are powerful, and infants are fairly fragile, but three separate medical professionals testified during the trial that the toddler couldn't have delivered the fatal blow.

Even if he could have, it's still the parents' fault. If they knew -- as all these people who testified supposedly did -- how rough he was, then it would be their job to protect the baby. To not be dozing on the couch, as the father said he was when the toddler may have injured the baby. Also, if the boy was so violent, where did he learn such behavior?

Add to that the fact the father told a detective he “forcibly pushed” the baby's head into a playpen a day after her death, and it seems the jury got it right in convicting him. His sentence, however, seems paltry in light of the crime -- 15 years in prison, with the possibility of parole in just three.

There is no way to make up for the guilt they've placed on that little boy that will haunt him for the rest of his life along with the loss of his sister. Surely, someday he'll know what was said about him, and likely wonder if he could have done it ... or if his parents were just offering him up to save their own asses.

Laura Senseman, the mother, was originally charged in the baby's death as well, even though she was at work during the time of Chloe's death. Prosecutors argued she should have known about the abuse. Whether she did or not , the fact that she stood by her husband and let her 2-year-old be accused makes me scared for this little boy's future who is now being cared for by her.

Even if a toddler does injure or kill a baby, do you think the parents should be held responsible?

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I'm with Schenk, but in most instances I would suspect, yes, it's the parents neglect that leads to those types of things happening.

JuLeah - posted on 05/28/2011

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What I know, and it’s not much, is that I don't believe any news story I read. I have walked through events I later read about in the news and the stories didn't match. I have been in the audience for lectures that were later spoken of on different news shows and, though each news station put a slightly different spin on it, not one really matched my recollection of the lecture. They are thinking of ratings, not the ‘truth’ if such a thing even exists.
What I know is that the prosecutor has a lot of money on hand to bring in 'expert witnesses' and that the expert’s job is to explain to the jury why the injuries, the blood splatter, the finger prints .... mean the person accused committed this crime.
If the one accused has money (public denenders don't) then they hire their own 'expert witness' who will take the same evidence and put a different spin on it, to prove this sweet person could not have possiblly committed this crime.
Given that the jury contains no experts (they are cut if they have a background that would qualify them) they are forced to believe the experts, which means it comes down to - not the facts, not the evidence, but which expert is more believable, which attorney is more likable, and how well the defendant dressed, behaved, and struck an emotional cord with the audience.
Now this fellow might have committed this crime - odds are, but if our only evidence is what the jury concluded and what the papers reported .... We can't say we know.

Vera - posted on 05/28/2011

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The sick part is that he'll probably have more kids to abuse and/or date someone with kids and abuse them too. Too bad they can't make force him to never have children again/never date anyone with kids just to protect them. What a turd!

Dana - posted on 05/28/2011

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It would all depend on the circumstances of a baby's death whether the parents are at fault for the toddler causing it. In some cases, yes, in some I could see where it would be a no.

This story is definitely disgusting but, it's still unclear to me if the mother did know the husband was lying. He could have lied to her too.

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