63 / 55
      70 / 55
      72 / 56

      Expert speaks about recent rash of deadly child abuse cases

      Sergio Sanchez, Jr. is accused in a shaken baby case

      A 3-month-old suffers from baby shaken syndrome and days later a 5-year-old is beaten and strangled to death.

      These are just two of the most recent cases involving child abuse.

      Just this week, in Edinburg, 23-year-old Sergio Suarez, Jr. was charged with injury to a child after he allegedly shook his 3 month old baby girl when she wouldn't stop crying and threw her on the bed.

      She suffered brain damage.

      In Mission, Juan Jose Ruiz faced the judge after being accused of beating and strangling his 5-year-old stepson.

      "I'm not guilty," said Ruiz.

      Initially, Ruiz provided a written statement where he admits to being angry at his stepson because he kept throwing up on himself at his place of work.

      He admitted to punching him in the stomach with a closed fist and grabbing him by the neck, applying pressure until he saw that the boy became weak and had trouble breathing, but since providing that statement, he's changed his story.

      "It was an accident that happened at work," he said.

      He tells Action 4 News the boy fell while walking and that's where all the bruises came from.

      "Physical evidence refutes that," said Sergeant Jody Tittle with Mission police.

      Police said it appears the boy was strangled with a wire.

      God only know what was going through his mind at the time of that incident, said Tittle.

      Todd Kitsmiller has worked as a couselor since 1997 and said he's worked on many child protective service cases.

      He said sometimes those parents who abuse their children are under the influence of drugs, don't understand child development, have a disorder, are overstressed or learned the same discipline actions from their parents.

      You know spare the rod, spoil the child, said Kitsmiller.

      Kitsmiller said there are other options parents should use instead of spanking or hitting like putting thier child in time out.

      He also advises parents to seek help if they start feeling that they're losing their patience with their children.