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A Warren man was sentenced Wednesday for shaking and blinding his 6-week-old child.
Christopher Cline, 26, was sentenced to three years in prison for child endangering, a second-degree felony.
Cline was charged after officers were called to 3086 Lancer Court in Warren on Nov. 6, 2009, for an injured child. The baby was taken to Akron Children’s hospital where it was determined the child had been shaken.
Cline showed up to court late, wearing a white tank top. He admitted to police that he shook the baby, which caused brain damage and ultimately blinded the child.
Cline’s son, now 3-years-old, is currently in the custody of the maternal grandmother Renee Allen. She addressed the court at sentencing.
“Chris, we trusted you and you broke that trust. You took a perfectly health six-week-old baby took it upon yourself to hurt him, which has caused permanent damage to Christian forever,” said Allen. “Christian is blind with severe brain damage and has been placed on the National Registry of the Blind. Christian did not have a choice, and I feel you should not either. Being sorry is not enough. One day you will have to answer to God.”
Allen quit her job as a special needs aid at Warren City Schools to care for her grandson full time. She and her husband Leon Allen said the boy is a blessing.
“He can’t talk. I am teaching him sign language so he can communicate, and he doesn’t have the ability to eat solid foods because of the brain damage, but we work through that every day,” said Allen. “In some ways he is like a normal 3-year-old. He still gets into stuff. He still climbs stuff, he runs, and he jumps.”
Allen has started a support group called Grammy’s Touch to help others prevent and deal with abuse issues. Her goal is to prevent what happened to Christian to ever happen to another child.
“Some of these young people they don’t have the self-esteem. They need to let them know they are special. We need to let them know the correct way, if they need help to care for a child, where to get help if they need it,” said Allen. “A baby has never died from crying. It’s o.k. to take time out.”
The baby’s mother, Alicia Allen, was in court Wednesday for Cline’s sentencing. She and Cline had another child after Christian’s injury. That child is in foster care.
For more information on Grammy’s Touch call 330-240-4938.