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[UPDATE] Father in Shaken Baby Death Sentenced to 40 Years

[UPDATE] August 9, 2012- 6:35 pm

A judge has just sentenced Terrell Futch to 40 years in prison for the shaken baby death of his own daughter.

Futch previously entered a plea to second degree murder and child abuse.

His four month old baby died of a brain hemorhage back in 2004.
Terrell Futch was sentenced to 40 years in prison with credit for seven and a half already served.

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UPDATED 8.8.2012 6pm by Julie Montanaro

A Tallahassee man accused of shaking his baby to death could be sentenced at any moment.

Terrell Futch has already entered a plea to murder and aggravated child abuse.

He could face up to life in prison for a fit of frustration that cost his newborn baby her life.

Terrell Futch is accused of shaking his four month old daughter Ta' Yara so violently that she had died of a brain hemorrhage.

An autopsy shows she had two broken arms, two broken legs, bruises and bite marks.

His ex-wife took the stand and said she was shocked to get a call from him that day in December 2004 saying the baby wasn't breathing.

"Did you ever at any time see the defendant abuse or do anything harmful to your baby?" prosecutor John Hutchins asked.

"No," the child's mother replied.

"Was this in fact the first time the defendant was left alone with your child to care for her?" Hutchins asked.

"No," Hawah Brown said. "About three weeks or so after she was born, I had to work immediately to pay bills, so I had to leave her with him all the time every day that I worked."

Futch has been in and out of a state mental hospital since his arrest.

Three psychologists testified he is mildly retarded. One said he had the cognitive abilities of a 12 year old. All testified he was remorseful for the baby's death.

"He was mad at himself .. he is mad at himself because he understands his baby is dead and he was responsible for this," forensic psychologist Salvatore Blandino testified.

Futch's attorney claims taking care of the baby alone all day was more than Futch could handle.

Yet prosecutors point out it wasn't the first time he was left alone with the baby. They say Futch was married, had a job, paid bills and sold drugs to make money.

Kevin Jackson who works with the Mentally Retarded Defendant Program testified Futch was not so mentally impaired that he didn't realize what he was doing the day his daughter died.

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Updated August 9, 2012-2:10pm by Julie Montanaro

Tallahassee Police Officer Annette Garrett is on the stand. She interviewed Terrell Futch several times during the investigation.
She says Futch admitted to shaking the baby and biting the baby.

Garrett also said Futch was on probation for possession of cocaine at the time.

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August 9, 2012- Noon

A Tallahassee man accused of shaking his baby to death will be sentenced this afternoon.

Terrell Futch could face up to life in prison for child abuse and murder.

Terrell Futch was arrested back in 2004 and accused of shaking his four month old baby to death.

An autopsy showed the baby girl had bruises, broken bones and died of a brain hemorrhage. Futch was taking care of the baby alone while his wife was at work.

He was declared mentally incompetent to stand trial and spent most of the past eight years in a mental hospital.

He was recently ruled competent and entered a plea to second degree murder and aggravated child abuse.

All of the testimony so far has come from psychologists both of whom said Futch is mildly retarded and should not have been caring for the baby alone.

Prosecutors contend Futch was married, had a job, paid rent and may have faked the depth of his disability to avoid the consequences of his actions.

This sentencing hearing could last well into the afternoon. We'll let you know what the judge decides.

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August 9, 2012 by Julie Montanaro

Terrell Futch will be sentenced for second degree murder and aggravated child abuse today.

Futch already entered a plea to those charges in the death of his four month old daughter.

Autopsy reports released after the child's death in 2004 indicated she had broken bones and died of a brain hemorrhage.

Futch only recently was declared competent to stand trial. He spent years at Florida State Hospital and the state's mentally retarded defendant program.

Futch's attorney, Joel Remland, says Futch was a husband and loving father with no history of violence. Remland says Futch's wife went to work and left him home alone to take care of the baby.

"Taking care of that baby that day was more than he could handle," Remland said. "He didn't know how to care for a baby." In retrospect, he said, Futch wishes he had asked for help.

Remland said Futch is mentally retarded and pointed out he was deemed incompetent to stand trial for years.

Dr. Greg Prichard testified that Futch is mildly retarded. Pritchard testified that Futch has the cognitive abilities of a 12 year old. "He should not have been caring for an infant child alone," he said.

He also testified that in the past he diagnosed Futch with depression. "He was crying a lot about what he had done."

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May 13, 2011 by Julie Montanaro

A man accused of shaking his newborn baby to death is set to stand trial this fall, nearly seven years after the alleged crime.

Terrell Futch was arrested back in December 2004, but was later declared incompetent to stand trial and has spent much of the past seven years receiving treatment at Florida State Hospital.

He was recently declared competent to proceed and this week a judge set a trial date for September 2011.

Futch is facing murder and aggravated child abuse charges in the death of his four month old daughter. Police say an autopsy found the baby had several broken bones and died of a brain hemorrhage.

Court records show Futch's attorney has filed paperwork of his intent to claim insanity. He did not respond to our request for comment.


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