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Father gets 20 years for shaking baby daughter

TimesLedger Newspapers

An Elmhurst man is set to spend 20 years in prison for shaking his 2-month-old baby last year, giving her brain damage that has put her on life support since the incident, the Queens district attorney’s office said.

Isrrael Garcia, 28, received his sentence Monday after pleading guilty to assault in November, the DA said. Queens Supreme Court Justice Elisa Koenderman imposed the determinate sentence, the DA said.

Garcia had shaken his infant daughter, Maria Gordillo, in May 2012 for three minutes after she woke up from a nap and started to cry, the DA said. Garcia tried to awaken Maria and called 911 when he could not revive her, the DA said.

Maria was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center and then transferred to NYU-Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, the DA said. Medical examiners found Maria had multiple injuries, including bleeding in the brain and eye, multiple rib fractures and bruises, the DA said. She has since remained on life support, the DA said.

District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement that shaken baby syndrome is the most common cause of deaths stemming from child abuse.

“Despite increased efforts by medical and law enforcement personnel to educate the public on the dangers of shaking a baby, we are still seeing far too many cases of children dying or being permanently disabled, both mentally and physically, at the hands of their caregivers,” Brown said.

The same day as Garcia’s sentencing, 20-year-old Cyan Brown, of 12th Street and 40th Avenue in Long Island City, pleaded guilty before Queens Supreme Court Judge Gregory Lasak to manslaughter for stabbing a 29-year-old Long Island City man, Thomas Winston, outside the 21st Street-Queensbridge subway station Christmas Eve of 2009, the DA said.

Brown had been walking with four men while Winston was drinking a beer, the DA said. When one of the men bumped into him, Winston and Brown began an argument, the DA said. Winston splashed beer on Brown, who stabbed him in the chest in response and fled into the subway, the DA said.

She is expected to get 13 years in prison at her April 10 sentencing, the DA said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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