Wife of alleged baby-killing cop should be charged with murder too (Opinion)
If you don't believe in monsters, read Sergio Bichao's article offering more details in the case where prosecutors say a 3-month old girl was beaten and eventually killed by her father, a Ewing police officer at the time.
Daniel Bannister is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his daughter, Hailey Rose. The mother is charged only with second-degree child endangerment. As we learn more disturbing details in this case, how prosecutors say in Hailey's short life there was a long pattern of abuse by her father, how medical experts claim prior injuries such as four broken ribs, we also come to find out police say they went through damning text messages exchanged by the couple.
Ultimately, prosecutors say, it was the father who beat the child to death, with tell-tale signs of shaken baby syndrome being detached retinas. There were also 9 fractures to the skull, according to authorities. But they also portray a case of a mother who knew the abuse was going on and did absolutely nothing to stop it. At many medical visits, the mother, Catherine Bannister, kept known injuries from doctors, according to police. In November, at one such visit, police say she sent her husband pictures of the bruising around Hailey Rose's ribs with the words, "Hopefully doctor won't see."
There was a pattern of this, according to police. Investigators say the mother had been confronting her husband about injuries yet never went to the authorities. Consider the following from Sergio Bichao's article.
She first noticed suspicious bruising around Hailey Rose’s mouth on Oct. 4, police said. (Investigators) said she questioned her husband via text about his practice of pressing his finger against the baby’s mouth as a method to stop her crying.
Investigators said that on Oct. 9, Catherine texted her friend, a pediatric nurse, about her husband’s behavior. Investigators said that the friend confirmed that the behavior was abuse and she offered to allow Catherine and her two children to move in with her. Catherine, however, declined and asked her not to report her husband to the authorities, investigators said.
While authorities say the injuries and ultimately the death of Hailey Rose were at the father's hand physically, it is a miscarriage of justice for only one murder charge to be brought in this case. From the story told by the prosecutor's office, this woman knew the abuse was happening and failed to report it to the police. Meaning she failed to save her daughter's life. She let it happen, from what prosecutors said. And if that's so, Hailey Rose is dead just as much because of her mother's inaction as she is from her father's actions.
When the getaway driver is involved in a bank job where the teller has been shot and killed, his penalty is the same as the murderer who pulled the trigger, is it not? He's an accomplice to murder. How in the name of justice can we call this mother anything other than an alleged accomplice in the murder of her own daughter?
A second-degree child endangerment conviction in New Jersey comes with as little as 5 years in prison. This mother seems to have failed in her role to keep her child safe every bit as much as this monster of a father did. They should both be locked away for life.
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