WOODSTOCK – Calling the case "heartbreaking," a McHenry County judge on Friday sentenced a man who beat his 30-day-old son to six years in prison.
Gavin J. Daly, 29, of Wonder Lake was charged April 7, 2010, with multiple battery charges, including Class X aggravated battery to a child. He previously pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated domestic battery, and the more serious charges were dropped.
The baby suffered brain swelling, severe bruising, eye hemorrhaging and a broken tibia, according to court documents that also said Daly shook and squeezed the child.
Judge Michael Feetterer on Friday listened to testimony from a doctor who said the child's injuries were consistent with the force one might sustain in a car crash.
The child's mother, Sarah Castillo, said her son, now 3 1/2 years old, has lasting disabilities from his injuries. He is cognitively delayed and is prone to seizures.
"[Daly's] anger and his need to play video games were more important than his son," said Alice Castillo said, the victim's grandmother.
"[The baby] was in perfect health. Gavin broke him."
Daly's defense attorney, Paul DeLuca, asked that his client be given probation.
"He will have a life sentence knowing he harmed his child," DeLuca said.
In a long statement, Daly relayed his version of the night's events. He said he was playing video games when the baby starting fussing. He turned off the game and brought the baby to the bedroom where Daly slipped and landed on the mattress, crushing the baby with his weight.
He said it was a "horrible accident" and "something that will haunt me to the end of my days. … I don't know if I will see my babies ever again."
Assistant State's Attorney Patrick Kenneally called Daly's statement "ludicrous," saying he came close to killing the child.
"He took his 30-day-old son and treated him like a stress toy," Kenneally said.