Traumatic brain injury is in the news once again this week. A 42-year-old Fort Worth Texas man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for causing a TBI to a child just shy of two years old. He chose to allow the judge to sentence him rather than go to trial. According to reports, he must serve a minimum of 15 years of his sentence before he is even eligible for parole.

According to the CDC, "Almost half a million (473,947) emergency department visits for TBI are made annually by children aged 0 to 14 years.” That's a staggering number when one really takes time to consider it.

In this story, the man who was sentenced was the ex-boyfriend of the child's mother. Here is perhaps the most disturbing part of all. During the punishment phase the prosecutors introduced the man's criminal history. That history included convictions for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and assault causing serious bodily injury. According to the article, prosecutor Melinda Westmoreland said, "if not for medical intervention, this would've been a capital murder." Fortunately doctors were able intervene and save the child's life. Additionally, the perpetrator of this horrible act will be held responsible for his crime

It is puzzling to us that before the mother let her then boyfriend have contact with her child, or worse left the child in his care, she did not check into his background. Preschools, religious organizations and child agencies all require background checks before any of their representatives can care for children. Performing a background check doesn’t have to be official. Sometimes a simple typing of the name into a search engine will tell you the results you need to know.

While past history isn’t indicative of future conduct, it is important to be aware of those who are privileged to care for your children. It might prevent a tragedy down the road.

The Russo Firm is experts in getting people the help they need when it comes to a Traumatic Brain, Spinal Cord or Catastrophic injury. For more information call us at 844-847-8300 or visit us at