Mother hopes Destiny’s Law will stop child abuse

The Springfield man convicted of shaking and causing brain damage to a 16-month-old infant eight years ago is scheduled today to be released from state prison after serving eight years.

For the Springfield mother of the infant, who is now 9, it’s too soon and she hopes a proposed state law in the honor of her daughter, Destiny Shepherd, is passed to keep people who commit such crimes in prison longer.

“It’s hard to believe he’s getting out of prison. I don’t know how I will handle it. It’s too early,” said Randi Shepherd on Sunday, the eve of Terrance King’s release from prison.

King, the boyfriend of Randi Shepherd’s mother in 2006, was convicted of felonious assault and child endangering and sentenced to eight years.. According to court records, he shook and threw Destiny against the wall of a New Carlisle apartment, injuring the infant as her mother was away at the grocery store to get milk.

Destiny was on life support with a skull fracture, retinal bleeding and abdominal injuries. After two weeks in a coma, Destiny finally woke up a totally different child, her mother said.

The beating caused severe brain damage to Destiny.

Under a proposed law introduced by state Rep. Bob Hackett, R-London, the penalty for people convicted of assaulting a child would be increased to 18 years in prison. The proposal, which is being called Destiny’s Law, recently passed a Senate committee and will be considered by the House and Senate later this fall.

Randi Shepherd said her daughter started having seizures last month after going five years without having them. She said her daughter now functions at a younger age.

“She’s doing amazing for what happened to her eight years ago, but these seizures are still scary,” Randi Shepherd said.

She said her focus is now getting the proposed law passed.

“It’s in Destiny’s honor, but I hope it will stop people from committing such terrible crimes,” she said.

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