FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Six years later, a Clovis family finally has a bit of closure after the investigators say their infant was abused and received traumatic brain injury while being watched by his great-aunt.
“Bowen is a very happy boy, he makes our hearts happy for sure,” said Cody Wheeler. That’s how Cody describes his son after everything that’s happened.
“I feel like we got something, we got 12 years, but Bowen will have the rest of his life to deal with the effects of his injury,” he added.
Wheeler says they’ve prepared for years, for this day in court. “There was some anxiety but it was good, we got to see her go into handcuffs and be walked out of the courthouse. She lied to a lot of people,” he said.
A Fresno superior court judge sentenced 53-year-old Lynette Gay Freeman to 12 years in prison for child abuse and personally inflicting great bodily injury to her 9-month-old great-nephew.
“She eventually confessed and I don’t know what she’s been telling her family but we know per the DA’s report that he was picked up violently off the ground shaken and thrown down,” said Wheeler.
Wheeler says it happened back in 2016 when they trusted freeman with their son Bowen he only went to daycare one day a week.
“We lived up the hill here and we didn’t want to pick a stranger to watch our kid so we thought we were making a good choice to have family watch him” he added.
The boy was found unresponsive by emergency crews and rushed to the hospital. Wheeler tells us doctors say the child had a stroke and brain injuries he will have for the rest of his life.
“We haven’t used childcare since we have a 2nd child we haven’t used childcare for here either and if you can I would juggle the careers to watch your own kids,” he said.
Bowen is now 6-years-old. Wheeler says they’re grateful for the Clovis Police Department who first took on the case, and for helping keep the case private so the family could heal.