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Suspect in baby shaking case pleads not guilty

By Howard B. Owens

Dietrich Williams is accused of shaking the baby of a Batavia woman so violently, even hitting the infant's head against a hard service, that the baby is now in grave condition. Today Williams pleaded not guilty to charges of assault in the first degree and reckless assault of a child.

After the hearing, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said the baby is not doing well.

"There's a lot of uncertainty right now," Friedman said. "It doesn't look good."

He said doctors fear brain damage, vision damage, whether the baby will be able to feed herself and whether she will be able to breath on her own.

Williams was reportedly living with a co-worker from a nursing home in Le Roy and was charged with watching the woman's four children while she worked a double shift.

On the night of June 20 or early morning of June 21, Williams allegedly assaulted the 15-month-old child.

The child and the mother have not been identified.

Defense Attorney Jerry Ader argued for reduced bail, stating that Williams is an employed resident of Genesee County and had only one prior misdemeanor conviction -- for unauthorized use of rental car that was returned late.

Friedman asked that Williams be held without bail, because there is a warrant for his arrest in Florida (reportedly for a bounced $100 check related to the car rental), and he has changed residence and jobs a few times over the past several months.  Friedman said he didn't believe Williams had lived in Genesee County for more than 4 1/2 months.

Since Williams hasn't appeared on a charged related to $100 check, Friedman told Judge Robert Noonan that he doubted he would appear on a felony charge where he potentially faces a 25-year prison term.

Noonan kept Williams bail at $50,000.

Peter O'Brien

Four Kids, no Dad around (at least on this particular night and he may well have been around when he could be I don't know and am not judging). Good for mom working to provide for her kids and not just taking the welfare route.
When people who are struggling like this have to face this kind of evil (someone must have done this to the baby whether it was Williams or not) its just sad.

I wonder what she is doing for a sitter now and how the baby's medical bills will be paid.

Jul 7, 2009, 1:22pm Permalink
Andrew Erbell

"He said doctors fear brain damage, vision damage, whether the baby will be able to feed herself and whether she will be able to breath on her own."

Jul 7, 2009, 1:30pm Permalink
Stephanie Chase

This just breaks my heart, I have seen a few abuse cases but shaking a baby is just evil. I hope they do find justice for this precious child.

Jul 7, 2009, 9:30pm Permalink

Read this way earlier today-been on my mind-children are innocent at all ages.I'd like to meet up with Dietrich for a round of mercy me!!!!

Jul 7, 2009, 9:41pm Permalink
Stephanie Armstrong

FYI-While the little girl is by no means "well," she has beat many of the odds. She is a fighter for sure. As for mom, she is exhausted, both physically and emotionally but still managing to care for her children and make it to work. I was wondering if there is a local daycare that would volunteer their services to take some of the pressure off of her. She is such an independent woman, she would never ask for the help herself and she is going through so much, it would be wonderful if our community could be there to support a family who has been victimized in the worst way. They are in my thoughts and prayers always.

Jul 29, 2009, 5:10pm Permalink

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