Father called calm on eve of baby’s death
January 12, 2008
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Seaman Recruit Jonathan Delgado didn’t seem upset or rushed the night before he allegedly shook his infant daughter so hard she died two days later, witnesses said Thursday.
The Misawa-based sailor carefully packed a bag for 2-month-old Kylie the night of July 14, 2006, took her to the baby sitter and gave the sitter a good tip when he retrieved his daughter a few hours later, witnesses said.
“He was calm,” said Chief Petty Officer Ever Browning — one of five people who testified Thursday in the second day of Delgado’s court-martial at Yokosuka Naval Base.
Delgado, 22, is charged with killing his daughter by “shaking [her] violently and with wanton disregard of human life” in his family’s Misawa Air Base apartment early on the morning of July 15, 2006. The baby died two days later on Okinawa after life support was withdrawn.
Kylie’s mother, Petty Officer 2nd Class Michelle Delgado, also is a Misawa sailor. Both she and her husband work as cryptologic technicians at the base’s Navy Information Operations Command.
Jonathan Delgado pleaded not guilty. His defense contends Kylie died of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. The defense maintains the government was too quick to jump to the conclusion that the baby died of “shaken baby syndrome.”
A number of doctors have been flown in to participate in proceedings in coming days, military judge Capt. Dennis Bengtson told the eight jurors.
Thursday’s non-medical testimony consisted of Browning, who worked with Jonathan Delgado at NIOC; Browning’s wife and her daughter; and the two emergency medical technicians from Misawa’s hospital who responded to the incident.
EMTs Staff Sgt. Mark Roby and Senior Airman Allison Williams said they noticed Delgado’s bed was “neatly made” when they responded to the emergency call. Both thought it strange because Jonathan Delgado said he and Kylie slept on the bed that night and that he awoke to find the baby “unresponsive” beside him, they said.
“I noticed the bed was neat and tidy,” Williams said, “like it had not been slept in.”
EMTs performed a “grab-and-go” to get Kylie to the emergency room. Delgado rode with them and did the chest compressions on his daughter in the ambulance, Roby said.
Roby added that he heard Michelle Delgado scream, “You killed my baby!” when she arrived in the emergency room after being called there from work.
The other witnesses — Ever Browning, Master Sgt. Angela Browning and her daughter Bria Hardwick — saw Jonathan and Kylie the night before when Delgado left his daughter at the Browning home for baby-sitting so he and Ever Browning could go to a nearby card game.
Ever Browning initially didn’t tell Navy investigators about the card game because he “didn’t want to involve other people.” But he called investigators the next day with full disclosure, he said.
Angela Browning and Bria Hardwick confirmed the baby seemed healthy in their care that night and that Jonathan Delgado was sober and careful with Kylie when he took her home.
“If he was drunk, I wouldn’t have turned the child over to him,” Angela Browning said.