Brenden Hartranft

‘I gave him a good shake’: Judge calls man who shook toddler to death a ‘psychopath’ before sentencing him to life

‘Seeing your complete lack of conscience, I don’t think you’ll do well in prison.’

A Michigan man who shook his former girlfriend’s toddler to death was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday, but the judge had a few choice words for the killer prior to him leaving the courtroom.

People reports that Scott Jurewicz, 29, was found guilty of first-degree murder in Nov. after he violently shook 18-month old Brenden Hartranft to death in 2015.

“So I picked him up and set him down a little hard. That’s what happened,” Jurewicz said last month in court, according to MLive. “I snatched him up. I shook him once. I gave him a good shake.”

Scott Jurewicz [Police Handout]
On the day in question, Jurewicz hurt himself while doing chores and grew angry at Brenden’s incessant crying. He admitted to police he grabbed the toddler and started shaking him, then put him down “hard” back into the Pack ‘N Play.

The violent shaking left Brenden with hemorrhaging in his eyes and head and neck injuries. According to court documents, Brenden, upset while in his Pack ‘N Play, began crying for attention. The toddler was in the home with Jurewicz, who lived with Brenden’s mother, Brooke Hartranft, and her daughters. Sometimes, the convict’s 8-year-old son would visit the home.

The next morning, he called 911 when the toddler wouldn’t wake up. Brenden was taken to an intensive care unit, where he was later pronounced dead from head and neck injuries, according to an autopsy report.

Court records indicate that Jurewicz never once asked how Brenden was doing while the child was in intensive care.

“You affected so many lives,” Circuit Judge Thomas Wilson said to Jurewicz on Thursday. “Seeing your complete lack of conscience, I don’t think you’ll do well in prison. I think you’re a psychopath.”

This isn’t the first time he’s been around a child who died. According to CBS, another child, 21-month-old son Jesse Pepper Jr., was also found dead in a Pack ‘N Play in 2015. At the time, Jurewicz was dating the boy’s mother, Andrea Conaway. The toddler was found smothered with blunt force trauma to his head. Jurewicz has never ben formally charged in the case.

Jurewicz will remain behind bars for the rest of his life without the possibility of parole.

[Feature Photo: Brenden Hartranft/ Family Handout]