A sergeant with the US Air Force (USAF) has been sentenced to three years behind bars after a court-martial found him guilty of beating his seven-day-old daughter to the point where she was left with multiple broken bones and irreversible brain damage.
USAF Sgt. Caleb Humphrey of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii was found guilty of aggravated assault and child endangerment related to the 2017 beating of his daughter Avaline, who was just seven days old at the time.
“She had skull fractures and leg fractures … This can only be explained by one way: Child abuse,” military prosecutor Capt. Grant Farnsworth said during the trial, as reported by Hawaii News Now last week. She also endured brain bleeding, bone lesions and rib fractures.
Farnsworth revealed that after beating her, Humphrey had discussed his daughter’s condition with his friend, a 33-year-old resident of Kapolei, Hawaii. Prior to that, he had sent a Facebook message to the friend and expressed that he was becoming upset with his daughter because she had been “yelling” at him all day.
“Usually the child abuse cases involve people with poor impulse control. They just snap, whether it’s the mother or the father,” defense attorney Victor Bakke told Hawaii News Now in an interview.
According to the Farnsworth, Humphrey “savagely” beat his newborn to the point where she suffered from seizures and permanent brain damage.
The child has remained in foster care since the 2017 incident.
Staff Sgt. Nicholas Brown, 15th Wing Public Affairs specialist, told the Honolulu Civil Beat that in addition to three years of confinement, Humphrey was demoted to the lowest rank, dishonorably discharged from the military and ordered to forfeit all pay and allowances.
While his wife, Staff Sgt. Natasha C. Beyer, is also accused of abusing Avaline, her court-martial does not take place until next month.
Additionally, the charges involving Beyer and Humphrey’s parental conduct have caused authorities to take another look into the case surrounding the Grayson Beyer, their five-week-old son who died in 2016 and suffered injuries similar to those of Avaline.
While medical professionals originally said he died of “natural” causes, further investigation by the Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office found that blunt force trauma was the actual cause of death. It’s suspected that the couple, strapped for cash at the time, may have killed their child to collect insurance money.
It’s unclear whether additional charges will be brought against the couple regarding Grayson’s death.