Father’s Charges Updated In ‘Shaken Baby’ Death

COON RAPIDS, Minn. (WCCO) — The Anoka County Attorney’s Office has updated charges in the wake of a 5-month-old girl’s death over the weekend.

The victim’s 25-year-old father Joshua Allen Vanhoutan’s previous charges included first-degree assault and malicious punishment of a child.

The charges have been upgraded now to second-degree murder.

Vanhoutan is accused of shaking the baby, causing retinal hemorrhaging and bleeding on the brain.

According to the criminal complaint, Vanhoutan called the child’s mother while she was at work the morning of May 11 and told her something was wrong. He said their child was unresponsive and her arms were frail.

The child was taken to Mercy Hospital and then transferred to Minneapolis Children’s Hospital.

Doctors noted the child’s worsening health, which included seizures and “rapidly developed elevated intracranial pressure.”

Despite the work of doctors, the child demonstrated no motor response to pain, and life support was withdrawn. The Anoka County Sheriff’s Department said the child died at 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

Vanhoutan told investigators that he had been playing with the child and her twin that morning when one of them started fussing. He told police he shook her because she would not calm down.

He told police he didn’t call a doctor when his daughter became unresponsive because he couldn’t afford to miss work.

If convicted, Vanhoutan faces up to 40 years in prison.

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