Father Gets 10 Years In Prison Over Baby’s Death

COON RAPIDS, Minn. (WCCO) –- A Coon Rapids man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in his 5-month-old daughter’s death has been sentenced.

Joshua Allen VanHoutan, 26, pleaded guilty in June to shaking his child, causing retinal hemorrhaging and bleeding on the brain.

On Wednesday, he was sentenced to 10 years, 8 months in prison for second-degree murder.

According to the criminal complaint, VanHoutan called the child’s mother while she was at work in May 2011 and told her something was wrong. He said their child was unresponsive and her arms were frail.

The child was taken to the hospital, where 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Despite the work of doctors, the child demonstrated no motor response to pain, and life support was withdrawn.’

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.

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