Veteran Accused Of Shaking Baby May Use PTSD Defense
LOWELL (CBS) – A veteran of the Afghan war is accused of shaking his baby boy so hard, the child is in critical condition. The father, Christopher Berry, has had a history of problems since he returned home. Some blame his violent behavior on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
When Berry served with the Army National Guard in Afghanistan, he survived an attack on his vehicle by a suicide bomber.
Since returning home, his treatment for PTSD has drawn attention to his mental state amid a string of assault and burglary charges.
In August of 2011, Berry was accused of luring a flock of pigeons to a Billerica parking lot and then plowing his car through them, killing several birds. His lawyer hinted at a PTSD defense when he was charged with animal cruelty.
On Monday, a different lawyer tapped into that again.
With murder charges awaiting Christopher Berry should his son die; the judge set his bail $500,000 cash.
The number of vets who’ve sought help for possible PTSD since returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is staggering. More than 273,000 nationally and nearly 5,000 close to home.