Father defiant as he gets 10-20 years in prison for shaking 7-week-old baby

Father defiant as he gets 10-20 years in prison for shaking 7-week-old baby
Jacob Ford

No one but Jacob Ford knows what happened to 7-week-old Skyler Ford in the early morning hours of Aug. 3.

Ford contended that he dropped his baby daughter and she hit her head on a crib railing and the floor. But prosecutors argued — and a judge agreed — that shaking and slamming were the causes of the massive brain damage that Skyler suffered.

Tuesday, Ford said his piece.

Before being sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison for child abuse resulting in serious injury, Ford slammed the justice system. He said the “prosecution doesn’t know me.”

“They can make me out to be whatever they want,” Ford said. “I’ll go to prison. I’ll walk in there, head high.

“I wish you all would be a little more considerate of what you’re doing here. … People that get (expletive) breaks shouldn’t get breaks. And others don’t. You’re taking years off of people’s lives.”

Prosecutor Beth Beninato, a deputy Douglas County attorney, said that’s exactly what Ford did to Skyler. A doctor had testified that Skyler suffered several spots of bleeding on her brain — as well as bleeding behind her eyes.

The baby has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. In addition, Beninato said, Skyler has dead spots on her brain.

“The nature and extent of these injuries are absolutely massive,” Beninato said. “We don’t even know if this child will live past 20, but we do know her brain will never fully function.”

Ford disputed that. Ford and the child’s mother, Cara Payne, are still together.

“I know my daughter will be fine,” Ford said. “Cara — she’s out there suffering, as a single mother yet again.”

Judge James Gleason — who had found Ford guilty after a weeklong bench trial — declined to allow Payne to speak on Ford’s behalf.

Under the judge’s sentence — which, by state law, is cut in half — Ford will be eligible for parole in five years and must be released in 10.

Ford and Payne, 32, had met on the Tinder dating app in August 2016 and moved in together in September 2016, and Payne discovered that she was pregnant in October 2016.

Payne was working a shift as a medical dispatcher the night of the abuse. Beninato said Skyler suffered from her father’s “temper” and “impulsivity.”

“The child is punished multi-fold,” Beninato said. “Not only is this her father … but she may have learning impairments for the rest of her life.

“There are holes in this child’s brain. This father has, in an instant, forever changed this child’s life.”

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