Dad charged in death of 11-week-old daughter

Richard Randazzo

February 22, 2012 2:54:33 PM PST
A Camden County man was in court on Wednesday, charged in the violent death of his 11-week-old daughter.

Richard Randazzo, 31, sat quietly as the case against him was laid out in Camden County court. He is charged with murder.

"She had broken bones in both legs, both arms, her ribs and her skull," said Camden County Prosecutor Christine Shah.

Prosecutors say Randazzo told police he was alone with baby Ashley last Thursday, bouncing her on his knee, when she started to cough and then went limp. He also allegedly told them that, a week earlier, the baby had slipped out of his arms and fell down a flight of stairs and he then tripped and fell on her.

"He then stated to investigators 'I know I killed her. He then stated to investigators that it wasn't intentional and that he would never intentionally hurt his children," said Shah.

Ashley was taken to Children's Hospital in Philadelphia where she was taken off life support and died on Monday. The medical examiner found that, in addition to the broken bones, she had subdural hematomas on her brain and behind her eyes. According to the doctor, classic signs of shaken baby syndrome.

"Dr. Collins opined that the neurotrauma was not consistent with a fall down the steps, but could be consistent with violently shaking a baby," said Shah.

The prosecutor argued for $750,000 bail. Randazzo's lawyer, Samuel Asbell, called that excessive.

"Considering today's economy, I don't believe my client could even come close to $500,000. $750,000 makes it way out of reach," Asbell said.

The judge agreed and kept bail at $500,000.? Randazzo has a couple of prior arrests, including a case in which he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in 2004 after being charged with assaulting a police officer.?