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Trial in shaken baby case delayed again, 5 years after boy was permanently disabled

PROVO – The trial for a man accused of violently shaking a 10-month-old baby in 2013 has been postponed again.

Becca Morales, the victim’s aunt, is learning that seeking justice, can also require a lot of patience.

She left a Provo courtroom Monday frustrated by the further postponement of the trial.

“This is the second time that just before trial that the defense attorneys have said that they are not prepared to try the case” said Morales.

Her nephew, Gabriel, will turn 6 years old next month.

In January of 2013, he was being cared for by his mother’s boyfriend, Robbie MacDonald, when it was reported he was unresponsive.


Doctors found he had severe head trauma. The injuries left him severely disabled. Gabriel is blind and he will always have to be fed through a feeding tube.

MacDonald was arrested a few days later on suspicion of child abuse and was scheduled to stand trial this month.

Morales said her family is frustrated and hurt, that once again they cannot put the criminal case behind them.

“Every time this case comes up we are forced to focus on the life he should have had, and what his life could have been, and that is really difficult to focus on those details and then be told, ‘just kidding it is going to be another six months or a year,’” Moreales said.

MacDonald has been free on bail for the past five years. He faces one to 15 years in prison, if he is convicted of second-degree felony child abuse.

“There is no adequate punishment or compensation for what has been taken away from Gabriel, but we would really like some closure,” she added.

But that closure will have to wait several more months. Judge Derek Pullan set the new trial date for Oct. 25, 2018.

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