In August 2018, Collin Quint was arrested and charged with first-degree child abuse after his 9-week-old son was hospitalized over seizures he was experiencing. Doctors at the hospital determined that Quint’s son Connor had suffered brain injuries as a result of being shaken, a form of child abuse referred to as shaken-baby syndrome.
After Quint’s arrest, the Michigan man hired an attorney to fight the case, arguing that the young boy’s injuries were suffered as a result of birth trauma and were not due to child abuse. “The only thing I ever touched Connor with was loving arms,” Quint said in the episode.
Quint’s arrest and first-degree child abuse charge are being covered in the second season of A&E’s “Accused: Guilty or Innocent,” which explores cases of individuals accused of serious crimes from their perspective, their trial and their defense team.
Where is Collin Quint today?
Quint Is in the Macomb County Jail Until January 2022 After Pleading No Contest But His Sentence Length Is Being Appealed
On June 24, Judge Richard Caretti sentenced Quint to eight months in prison and two years of probation, a few months after Quint pleaded no contest to second-degree child abuse. According to Macomb Daily, Quint’s sentence landed in the middle of the sentencing guideline range of zero to 17 months of jail time and the judge ruled that Quint’s son did not suffer permanent, life-threatening injuries although it was a “very close call.”
The prosecutor’s office appealed the sentence length in an attempt to increase Quint’s jail time and have him transferred to prison. This appeal is ongoing and has not yet been decided by the court. There is also another case in the trial process with a different judge that will determine Quint’s parental rights.
Quint is currently in the Macomb County Jail, which is just north of Detroit. According to public records, he began serving his sentence on June 25 this year and is scheduled to be released on January 22, 2022. His defense attorney Arthur Garton told Heavy that Quint’s wife Lindsey is holding up and Connor is “doing great.”
The Scoring of the Sentencing Guidelines Are at the Crux of the Appeal
A Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office press release said Quint was responsible for a “violent assault he perpetrated upon his 9-week old son” which caused “significant physical and cognitive impairments.” According to the prosecutor’s office:
Judge Caretti erred in scoring Michigan’s statutory sentencing guidelines for this case and, ultimately, sentenced defendant to a short jail term. In its continued efforts to fight for justice for all victims of crime in this County, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office will seek to reverse this ruling in the Michigan Court of Appeals and secure a prison sentence for defendant.
Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido told Heavy that they’re not appealing the plea but only the length of the sentence as they argued the sentencing guidelines were scored incorrectly. Lucido was unable to provide more information about the appeal, however, as it is still ongoing.
Garton said the scoring of the sentencing guidelines was due to the judge agreeing with the defense on a few factors in the case. He added that before Quint entered his plea, prosecutors told them they would not object to the judges scoring or appeal the case but they did.
Convictions Based on Shaken Baby Syndrome Are Being Reviewed as Inquiries Have Found Concerns With What Some Are Calling a ‘Questionable Science’
Shaken baby convictions are increasingly being looked at worldwide as several reports and inquiries have found that it is a questionable science, with medical experts often disagreeing on the cause of death or injuries to babies. As the California Innocence Project points out, the shaken baby syndrome “has never been scientifically validated.”
Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido told Heavy that Quint is guilty under the law despite his no-contest plea. “If he was innocent, he would have gone to trial,” the prosecutor said. “People that plead are guilty.” He added that they had expert witnesses who could testify that the child’s injuries could not have been due to birth trauma.
Garton told Heavy that Quint pleaded no contest only because he could not afford to hire expert witnesses for trial and this was the best-case scenario for him to continue seeing his family. Despite not having enough money, Garton said they had a good defense, including evidence showing that Connor had an accelerated head growth from birth, which is indicative of a subdural hematoma that a baby can have at birth that can bleed with little or no trauma.
Quint’s attorney also told Heavy that the shaken baby syndrome determination was an opinion formed without a full investigation. There were no external injuries whatsoever and no fractures or bruising that would indicate violent shaking, he explained.
In Canada, the Inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Pathology in Ontario known as the Goudge Report was launched in part to explore “shaken baby” convictions but also on a larger scale to look at the interactions between medical experts and the justice system. The report called for a “review of all shaken baby syndrome/pediatric head injury cases” and any criminal convictions stemming from these cases due to new medical evidence.
Goudge said many medical experts and prosecutors go into a case with a mentality presuming guilt above all else, NPR reported. “‘Think dirty’ reflects a cast of mind that was prevalent often with the child care community in the 1990s,” Goudge said. “That is, injuries observed were deliberately inflicted — that’s the presumption to be disproved,” the outlet wrote.
In 2015, the Washington Post published the results of a year-long study with Northwestern University’s Medill Justice Project on shaken baby syndrome which identified since 2001 nearly 2,000 cases that were said to involve violent shaking. “More than 200 ended when charges were dropped or dismissed, defendants were found not guilty or convictions were overturned,” the study found.