A 17-year-old father who shook his 8-month-old baby girl to death has been sentenced for his actions.
In July 2018, Jayden Straight brought his daughter into an Iowa hospital with severe injuries, WHO-TV reports. According to the criminal complaint, 8-month-old Raija Straight had suffered multiple skull fractures, a ruptured spleen, several broken ribs, and massive retinal hemorrhaging.
Doctors believe the child was “deliberately assaulted on July 13.” Raija died as a result of her injuries on July 14, 2018. According to WHO-TV, Raija’s mother, Ri Bambino, told authorities that Jayden didn’t just shake their baby but also hit her multiple times.
However, at the time, Jayden’s family stuck by his side, saying Raija was a top priority in the teen’s life. Carla Mickael, Straight’s grandmother, said she believes her grandson was “being wrongfully accused of something that he never did.”
“It’s really sad because the baby is gone, Jayden is gone.” She also claimed that the relationship between Jayden and Raija’s mother “was unhealthy.”
Although Jayden was just 17 at the time of his daughter’s death, he turned 18 just a few weeks later and was ultimately tried as an adult. A judge made the ruling in October 2018.
The teen was officially charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death.
Over a year after Raija’s passing, Jayden was sentenced to 100 years in prison after he pled guilty to second-degree murder and the willful injury and child endangerment on November 8. At a vigil for Raija, Bambino said to those who gathered to celebrate her daughter’s life, “Don’t let them forget her name.”
In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Bambino’s grandmother, Robin Head, said her great-granddaughter was always exploring and now she can go where ever she wants to go. “And that’s what she’s gonna do, she’s gonna be with us and she’s gonna go wherever God can send her.”
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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