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A Texas woman who allegedly shook an infant in 1984 has been charged with his murder in Florida, where he died of a decades-old and life-changing brain injury at the age of 35. The first-degree murder charge stems from a disastrous incident that happened in Hollywood, Fla., 37 years ago, when five-month-old Benjamin Dowling suffered major brain damage while in the care of a babysitter. That babysitter, Terry Delores McKirchy, told police that baby Benjamin fell off a couch and hit his head. However, doctors determined that the boy had been shaken so hard that his brain hemorrhaged. McKirchy ultimately pleaded no contest to attempted murder and aggravated battery of a child in the 1985 case, which investigators said was an instance of shaken baby syndrome. The babysitter was sentenced to three years of probation and 60 days in jail, while Benjamin lived the rest of his life with severe mental and physical disabilities until he died in 2019. McKirchy, 59, now faces a second reckoning for that decades-old incident, after a Broward County grand jury indicted her with first-degree murder in Dowling’s death.

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