In Hawkins County, Richard Trehern was convicted of aggravated child abuse for the severe brain injuries his 4-month-old daughter sustained. Alexandria, Mr. Trehern’s daughter, was diagnosed with severe brain injury and skull fracture in April 2007. Physicians testified that the infant girl had shaken baby syndrome. The evidence also suggests there were two episodes of severe injury to the baby girl. News stories report the mother of the baby, Michelle Trehern, witnessed the abuse prior to the baby being taken to the emergency department.
Alexandria survived her injuries and is now in the custody of her maternal grandparents.
Many factors may be present that cause adults to injure their infants and children with SBS. Not all caregivers are ethical or emotionally well adjusted. Adults with the following risk factors are more likely to abuse their infants and children and cause SBS; poor coping skills, unrealistic expectations, substance abuse, former victims of child abuse, mental health problems, social isolation, socio-economically depressed, impoverished and families that suffer with domestic violence issues.
SBS may occur in any setting and it is important to know the signs and symptoms that may be present in an infant or child that is a victim of SBS. Once an infant has been victimized by non-accidental head trauma and Shaken Baby Syndrome and becomes disabled, the risk of reoccurrence for abuse to this child increases.