Terry Delores McKirchy Bio/Wiki
A Texas lady named Terry Delores McKirchy has been charged with the murder of a Florida man who died in 2019, more than 35 years after she brutally shook him as a newborn, leaving him disabled.
Terry Delores McKirchy of Sugar Land was indicted earlier this month on a first-degree murder allegation in Broward County, where the crime occurred in 1984. She is accused of murdering Bradenton resident Benjamin Keith Dowling, 35.
He is 59 years old.
Benjamin, who was 5 months old when he suffered devastating brain damage, died Sept. 16, 2019. McKirchy, who was babysitting the boy at the time, denied causing the injuries, according to The Associated Press.
McKirchy, then 22, claimed that Benjamin had fallen from the couch and injured himself, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
Despite her denials, McKirchy pleaded no contest in June 1985 to attempted murder and aggravated battery of a child. Florida court records indicate she received an extremely light sentence.
McKirchy was made to spend weekends in jail for three months until her third child was born, according to the AP. She then served three years’ probation. Tuesday, the reasons for the light sentencing were not immediately evident. In 1985, McKirchy told the Miami Herald, “I know I didn’t do it. My conscience is clear. But I can’t deal with it anymore,”
“I’m six months pregnant. You wouldn’t believe what this has done to my family.”
— South Florida Sun Sentinel (@SunSentinel) July 25, 2021
Benjamin was diagnosed with what was then known as Shaken Infant Syndrome after his pediatrician told her to meet him at Plantation General Hospital. They concluded that the boy had been forcibly shaking, resulting in cerebral hemorrhage.
Benjamin survived, but he made no improvement despite years of occupational, speech, and physical therapy. He underwent numerous procedures throughout the years, including the insertion of a feeding tube at the age of 18 months.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, he also needed metal rods to keep his spine straight. Aside from Benjamin, the Dowlings had two more children who required round-the-clock care. In 2019, he passed away at his family’s house.