A Grayson County jury Thursday morning convicted Damon DeShawn Finley, 26, of charges that include aggravated assault with serious bodily injury to a family member with a deadly weapon and injury to a child. Later Thursday, that same jury sentenced him to 30 years in prison on each count.
Jurors had gotten the case, in which Finley’s two-month old daughter suffered severe injuries while left in his care, the night before they reached their guilty verdict. They deliberated for two hours before deciding upon his punishment.
During testimony in the case, those same jurors heard the whole case began when the infant’s mother left her alone with Finley, the child’s father, to go to work back in January of 2018.
The mother returned home to find the infant suffering from seizures and took her to Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center. From there, the child was rushed to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas where a child abuse specialist said the bleeding under her skull in two places and the multiple broken ribs, some of which had started to heal, were not likely the result of any sort of accident.
When police questioned Finley, he blurted out that he had not violently shaken the baby before later admitting that he had, in fact, shaken the baby on two occasions. The child survived but still suffers from the experience. Grayson County District Attorney Kerye Ashmore said the child is developmentally delayed, both physically and cognitively. Her eating is also impaired because the brain damage she suffered affected her swallowing reflex. In addition, she also has problems with her vision.
Speaking after the conviction and sentencing, Ashmore said the sentences will run concurrently. Finely will be required to serve 15 years before becoming eligible for parole because the jury found that he used a deadly weapon (his hands in this case) in the crime.
“These are difficult cases to try for many reasons,” Ashmore said in a statement. “The infant can’t tell you what happened. Many times multiple people are around the child and pinning down the time of injury is always an issue. But our office is dedicated to vigorously pursing these cases and a team approach with law enforcement and, the medical community, particularly doctors with Children’s Medical Hospital in Dallas, has proven to be successful in these cases.”
Finley’s attorney Jeromie Oney could not be immediately reached Thursday afternoon for comment.