Family Defends Father Charged With Shaking Baby To Death


UPDATED: Monday May 19, 2014 11:53 PM

The family of a father accused of shaking his baby to death comes to his defense. They say there is no way he is responsible for the child's death.

His fiancée says she's not only mourning the loss of her son, but her daughter and fiancé too.

Prosecutors say Michael Wingett shook the five month old to death.

Before Wingett was ever charged, the Knox County prosecutor says he called in a bomb threat to children services, after they removed his 5-year-old daughter from, what they called, an unsafe home.

Wingett was arrested on inducing panic earlier in the week. On Monday, he was charged with murder.

"Right now I can't feel nothing. Ever since my son has passed. I cannot feel nothing at all," said mother, Gail Conway.

In a matter of one week, Gail Conway said she lost everything. Her 5-month-old son died, her 5-year-old daughter was taken from her by children services, and her fiancé was locked up in jail.

"Right now my tear ducts are completely dry," said Conway.

Gail Conway and her aunt say they want to set the record straight about accusations against 24-year-old Michael Wingett.

"Me and him don't have a bone in our body to hurt children, at all. When we start getting angry like we do, we have someone else take them. And we all know not to shake babies," said Conway.

"Nobody would hurt that child," said Gail Conway's aunt, Sabrina Conway, who believes the child died of natural causes.

"He was grabbed, towards the hip, at the waist, and then shaken," said Knox County Prosecutor, John Thatcher.

After watching Wingett's interview with deputies and reading the autopsy report, Thatcher said he is confident the baby's father shook the 5-month-old to death.

"The child died of, what's been described to me as, if the child had been unrestrained in a car crash and if the airbag had deployed and hit the child in the head. That's the kind of force it would take to sever the tendons and ligaments in the neck," said Thatcher.

A baby boy, described by the family as a "precious little child."

"We love the kid to death and it broke every body's heart in this house when he passed away," said Sabrina Conway.

Wingett is now in jail on charges of murder, felonious assault, endangering children and inducing panic, for the bomb threat.

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