Harvey man sentenced to 15 years in prison for cruelty to his 3-month-old son

A 24-year-old Harvey man who pleaded guilty to violently shaking his 3-month-old son and causing a severe brain injury was sentenced on Friday (Feb. 5), to 15 years in prison.

Jeffery Lebouef Jr., of the 300 block of Manhattan Boulevard, pleaded guilty as charged on Monday to second-degree cruelty to a juvenile in connection with what authorities say was abusive head trauma, which previously had commonly been called shaken baby syndrome.

Judge Scott Schlegel of the 24th Judicial District Court, who accepted the plea and handed down the sentence, also barred Lebouef from contacting his son’s mother.

Lebouef was arrested on Nov. 4, 2015, after he and his girlfriend rushed their child to Children’s Hospital because he had seizures and was unresponsive, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office arrest report.

Lebouef was at home alone with the child when the seizures began but denied knowing what caused the injuries, according to the report. The mother returned home and called a doctor after discovering her baby’s conviction, detectives wrote.

A Children’s Hospital doctor notified police after finding that the child, who was in critical condition, had an older brain injury in addition to the newer one, according to the report. The mother told detectives that Lebouef had “some animosity” for the child, because he questioned whether he was the father, according to the report.

When confronted by detectives, Lebouef confessed to causing the injuries and lying about them to his girlfriend and doctors, saying “he knew he was in trouble and the baby was hurt,” according to the report.

He told detectives that his son would not stop crying and that he shook the infant violently while yelling, “Why don’t you give me a break,” according to the report.

He said he dropped the baby off a bed and then threw the baby about two feet onto a bassinet, causing the infant’s head to bounce, detectives wrote.

In impact testimony on Friday, the baby’s mother said her son suffers from lingering effects of the shaking and possibly faces surgery as a result of the incident.

Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Truhe prosecuted the case.

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