For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has announced lengthy prison term for a convicted child abuser. Shawn Wesley Gentry, 22, of Reno was sentenced to 60 years in prison on December 13, 2016 by the Honorable Judge Patrick Flanagan. He is not eligible for parole until he serves 21 years. Gentry, aged 22, pleaded guilty to three counts of Child Abuse Resulting in Substantial Bodily or Mental Harm on October 5, 2016.
The abuse occurred on May 31, 2016. The case began when the Washoe County Sheriff Office (WCSO) responded to a report of an unconscious baby. Paramedics arrived to find the 6 week old baby boy in cardiac arrest. At the hospital he was found to have severe head trauma, bruising about his body, and a fractured femur. The baby had been left alone with his father, Mr. Gentry. Investigators quickly realized that the injuries were caused by abuse and that the baby had been violently shaken causing permanent brain damage.
As a result, the baby has significant developmental delays and receives all nutrition through a surgically placed G-tube. A treating pediatrician called the retinal hemorrhaging and a fracture to the baby’s leg the worst she had ever seen.
Among the aggravating factors cited by Deputy District Attorney Amos Stege at sentencing was that the defendant waited at least 40 minutes from the shaking and abuse to call 911. The defendant also sent a text message to the child’s mother containing a photograph of the injured baby and the message:
“Whats wrong with him he acts like he cant open his one eye “Im done with it im always hurting him and I don’t f*** mean to next time u tak him hes just to f**** fragile for me to handle”
DDA Stege also pointed to the lifelong impact of the permanent brain injury on the child, his mother, and her family in urging a lengthy prison sentence. The prosecution called it “a selfish, intentional, and cowardly act” deserving of maximum and consecutive sentences. The defense asked for a minimum of two years prison.
In commenting on the case, District Attorney Chris Hicks stated, “What Gentry did to this vulnerable and defenseless baby is horrifying. He is an evil human being that deserves every second he’ll serve in that prison cell.”