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Shaken Baby Dies 20 Years Later, Dad Faces Murder Charge

Olin Shane Tannery already spent several years behind bars for assault of his son
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2018 7:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – Olin Shane Tannery spent years in prison for assaulting his infant son—and now the Missouri father might end up back behind bars after that son died two decades later. The Kansas City Star reports on the 39-year-old's indictment for second-degree murder, almost seven months after his 20-year-old son Dominick J. Pittsenbarger passed away. Per the New York Post, the Clay County jury that handed down the indictment Tuesday believes injuries from the February 1998 attack on baby Dominick—in which Tannery is said to have squeezed, shaken, and thrown the month-old infant to the ground in an effort to stop his crying—ultimately led to Dominick's death in April. Doctors didn't initially think the baby would survive the attack, but he did, although he was left with broken ribs, a fractured vertebra, bleeding on the brain, and other head injuries.

He was left severely brain damaged and used a wheelchair for his entire life. Tannery pleaded guilty to a first-degree assault charge in 1999 and was sentenced to 13 years in prison; he was released in 2007. Meanwhile, Pittsenbarger, who graduated from high school in 2017, was adopted by his mom's husband, Wendell Pittsenbarger, and spent his time watching Sesame Street, shooting baskets, and hanging out with friends; his mother died before he did. "I love that boy and still miss him dearly," Wendell Pittsenbarger tells the Star. "I think about him all of the time." Tannery, due in court Friday, is being held on a $500,000 bond. (An Ohio boy shaken as a baby died 12 years later.)

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