Henderson Man In Jail After Allegedly Shaking 10 Week Old - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

08/11/08 - Henderson

Henderson Man In Jail After Allegedly Shaking 10 Week Old

An east Texas infant is fighting for its life tonight in a Dallas hospital, and the infant's father sits in a Rusk County jail for allegedly shaking the child.

24-year-old Benjamin Terrence Rawls is charged with injury to a child, a first degree felony.

KLTV 7's LaKecia Shockley has the story of what authorities call abandonment and endangerment.


"I've been in his house and I've seen him and his wife in the house with the kids and it's always been a loving and caring family to the best of my knowledge," says Rodrick Adams.

But authorities have a different story.

They say it was inside the home that Ben Rawls shook his 10 week old baby, while his other child, an 18 month old, watched.

"There was some blood splatter in the house," William Brown told us. Brown is a criminal investigator for the Rusk County DA's office.

An arrest affidavit by Judge Bob Richardson says Rawls knowingly caused serious injury to the child by hitting and shaking the victim with his hands and fists.

Investigators say after shaking the baby, Rawls went to a relative's house for help, leaving his 10-week old infant choking and unresponsive, and the 18 month old unattended.

"I'm a dad and granddad, and you'd like to think that you would never do that yourself. You don't understand how or why someone could," said Brown.

The affadavit reveals the victim was found in the house with drugs on the floor, knives within reach of the child - and a pit bull.

Rodrick Adams finds it hard to believe Rawls would ever harm his children.

"I can't condone it, but I can't condemn the man because I understand that even the best of us have bad days and maybe he just had a bad day," reasoned Adams.

A bad day that cost Rawls his freedom, and leaves his child fighting to stay alive.

When the abuse allegedly happened, investigators tell us the mother of the children was away at her parents' home. The other child, the 18 month old, is in CPS custody today.

LaKecia Shockley, reporting. lshockley@kltv.com

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