Ex-Union Township cop cleared of assaulting son

By Sharon Silke, staff writer, Home News Tribune, NZ, September 2nd, 1998

FLEMINGTON -a jury cleared a Warren County man accused af inflicting brain damage on his 5-month-old son by shaking him.

Wiliiam Cary was charged in March 1996 with second-degree aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child a week after his son suffered seizures and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick detected hemorrhages behind the boy's eyes and determined the cause was shaken-baby syndrome. The baby had received an immunization shot early that morning which defense .
attorneys argued was the cause of the seizures and the bleeding behind the boy's eyes.

"I think the weight of the world was lifted from Cary's shoulders," defense attorney Joe Krakora said outside the courthouse yesterday after the 12-day trial. "They're extremely relieved and tremendously grateful,"

Cary, a former Union Township police officer and a former Readington resident, now lives in Washington Township in Warren County. It took the Superior Court jury nearly two full days to reach a decision. Jurors returned to the courtroom three times to rewatch videotaped testimony from witnesses from both the prosecution and the defense. Assistant Prosecutor Marcia Crowe could not be reached for comment yesterday. The baby was born in October 1995 and was first brought to the hospital on Dec 11, 1995. He was treated for vomiting and irritability and his pediatrician determined that the boy had a nonspecific viral condition and an allergy to milk. He was brought back to the hospital on March 22, 1996, by paramedics after he suffered a seizure. The boy had received an inoculation a few hours earlier, which witnesses for both sides agreed could trigger a seizure in babies who have already had head trauma.

Vomiting, lethargy, increasing head circumference. seizures, apnea and coma are all symptoms of shaken-baby syndrome. According to medical records, the boy was demonstrating some of these symptoms during his December visit to the hospital.