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Man Sentenced in Shaking Death of 3-Month-Old Daughter

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield man is sentenced to 20 years for shaking his three-month-old baby to death.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield man is sentenced to 20 years for shaking his three-month-old baby to death.

Ethan Handlang, 26, of Springfield, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in court Friday, according to the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office.

On Dec. 19, 2013, deputies responded to Handlang’s home for an emergency call about a child not breathing. At the time, Handlang said he had been trying to feed his three-month-old daughter when she choked on some water and became unresponsive.

Aubrey Handlang was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead the next day.

According to the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office, an autopsy on the child revealed severe brain swelling, severe brain bleeding, bleeding in the spinal cord and bleeding in the eyes.

The medical examiner found the injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome, or abusive head trauma.

The cause of death was declared as blunt force injuries to the head.

During a later interview with Handlang, he admitted to deputies that after becoming increasingly frustrated he shook the child about seven times.

Handlang said the baby became immediately unresponsive and a clear liquid leaked out of her nose.

Handlang said he initially lied about what happened to his daughter because he had a criminal history and was afraid to go to jail.

After a plea bargain, the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office agreed to a 20-year sentence in prison.

Because child abuse resulting in death is considered a dangerous felony in Missouri, Handlang must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

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