The fire and discovery of the baby's death happened in February. Just one month earlier, Wallace was sentenced for a separate child neglect case in Marion County involving another child. Court records show he pleaded guilty to multiple counts of child abuse. Those records also show Wallace shook, squeezed, and broke the ribs of his then-girlfriend's two-month-old baby boy. The abuse happened from October to November 2012.
A probable cause affidavit from the 2012 abuse case shows Wallace told his then-girlfriend, "vibrating" the baby would not cause shaken baby syndrome.
The affidavit said:
"She said Cory's fingers were on (the baby's) back and Cory's thumbs were around (the baby's) shoulders then he vibrated him. She said (the baby) was crying very loud when Cory did this."
Wallace was sentenced to three years jail time. He pleaded guilty. As part of the plea agreement, he was sentenced to community service, home detention, and probation. He was also sentenced to complete a mandatory parenting class. There's no record if he began those classes. Wallace spent less than 40 days behind bars.
Prevent Child Abuse Indiana is an organization aimed at helping parents and families prevent abuse before it happens. The organization provides resources and education to parents on proper ways to care for their children.
“This little person cannot defend themselves and they are wholly dependent on the adult or adults in their lives and what has to happen in order for that little person to receive the best and safest care," said Sandy Runkle, Director of Programs at Prevent Child Abuse Indiana.
Runkle said another important aspect of preventing child abuse is ensuring the child is in a safe environment and that your child is safe around your partner.
Some of the warning signs of potential abuse include:
- History of domestic violence
- Cruelty to animals
- Easily angered or frustrated
- High expectations, especially for young children
You can learn more about preventing abuse by clicking here.