Dad sentenced to prison for battering infant daughter
BY JANET LUNDQUIST email@example.com December 6, 2013 9:00PM
Carl R. Blankenship | Photo courtesy of Will County Sheriff's office
Updated: January 9, 2014 6:42AM
A father convicted of shaking his 3-month-old daughter so violently it damaged most of her brain was sentenced to 14 years in prison Friday.
Carl R. Blankenship, 31, of the 1400 block of Pioneer Road in Crest Hill, was found guilty by a Will County jury of aggravated battery of a child in October.
His daughter, now 2, is alive, and functioning with 10 percent of her brain, prosecutors said. The girl cannot walk or see and is fed through a tube in her stomach.
Blankenship said Friday he loves his daughters.
“They are everything to me, and my life is nothing without them,” Blankenship said, wearing orange jail scrubs, standing at the defense table. “I’m not a monster.”
Blankenship was arrested in October 2011, about four months after his daughter was injured.
The child’s mother, Victoria Blankenship, testified during his trial that he was watching the baby and their older daughter alone on June 2, 2011, the day the baby was hurt.
Blankenship testified that he had worked an overnight shift and had little sleep that day.
He told police that day he fed the baby, burped her, then laid her in her bassinet while he used the rest room. When he returned, the baby looked like she was gasping for air, he told police.
About four months later, he told police he accidentally dropped his infant daughter as she slipped out of his arms after a bath the day she was first hospitalized.
“The defense has gone to great pains in this case to paint the defendant as ... the best father in the world. To show you that all he cared about were his children. Not true,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Tina Filipiak. “On June 2, 2011, the only person Carl Blankenship cared about was Carl Blankenship. As his daughter is in critical condition, fighting for her life, he lies to everyone about how (her injuries occurred).”
Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak noted Blankenship’s testimony about what happened didn’t match medical evidence presented at the trial.
“Only God knows if her prognosis would’ve been different if you had been more forthcoming with information (when the baby was first treated for her injury),” Tomczak said.
She also noted that Blankenship had no criminal record, and that he apparently loves his daughters.
Blankenship was facing 6 to 30 years in prison. He must serve 85 percent of the 14-year sentence, and will receive credit for a little more than 2 years served in jail.