Caleb Eli Bishop
January 21, 2007 - February 25, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial
I will be 53 year old in December of this year. I have been honoring children who were abused to death, for about 18 years now, though only 14 of them have been on this site. I used to have an AOL site that just didn't allow me the space I found I was going to need in order to include as many children as there are who have been abused to death. I never get used to looking into the innocent faces of these beautiful, little Angels who only want to be loved by those God has entrusted to care for them until He calls them home. I do get relief in knowing that after their deaths, they are no longer suffering, they are no longer in any pain, that they NOW know the greatest love that will ever exist and that Angels watch over them on the streets of Heaven. Still, looking at the precious little face above, I wish I could stop every child from hurting, I wish not one more child would have to suffer at the hands of monsters who have no business having children in the first place, who have no business being trusted to care for children and who have no business EVER getting out of prison after they have taken the life of a child by abusing them.

This story begins with a pregnant school teacher, a woman who taught music at Christ The King Catholic School. Not much is given as far as the circumstances for WHY things went horribly wrong and ended with the death of Caleb who made it just past one month old. But his story needs to be told.

Courtney Diane Bishop was 24 years old when she turned herself into the Police on a Thursday afternoon, Caleb was buried the next morning and Courtney plead not guilty having been charged with murder when Caleb had died on Sunday. The Coroner stated that Caleb had died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Courtney and her parents were in court only a short time before her name was called by the Judge. What should have been a preliminary hearing, ended up with Courtney being granted a continuance. Courtney was bailed out of jail by a family friend, her bond had been $100,000 and a property bond was posted by Kenneth S. to enable Courtney to be free while awaiting trial. Courtney was asked about the generosity of this friend and her only response was to smile. Kenneth was asked why he posted bond for Courtney, however, he decided not to comment.

Courtney had previously spoken to Police and told them she had been alone with Caleb when he had been injured, that didn't stop her from entering a not guilty plea through her Lawyer. Courtney's father was asked if he thought his daughter was the right person to be charged with the death of his grandson, Bob B. simply said "no" to that question.

There is not much to say about the final hours of Caleb's life. Caleb was admitted to University of Kentucky Hospital in February of 2007 with injuries to his leg, which was broken, his skull was fractured and he had retinal hemorrhaging with an injury to his ear as well. Caleb lived in the Intensive Care Unit for several days before he finally died. Courtney had been on maternity leave at the time of Caleb's death.

In July of 2009, a trial date was finally set by Circuit Judge Thomas Clark who had set a trial date of March 15th and the trial was expected to run through to March 25, 2010.

In March of 2010, Jim Lowry, one of Courtney's Lawyers was in court defending her on charges of murder and criminal abuse, Jim Lowry was also stating that Courtney had not been the one to cause Caleb's death:

"It is our defense in this case that Mr. Bishop committed this crime"

During the hearing, both the Defense and the Prosecution made their arguments before Judge Thomas Clark trying to determine if evidence relating to Daniel Bishop should be allowed to be admitted during the trial. Evidence against Daniel included two misdemeanor assault charges, one in 1990 where it is said that he allegedly pushed his own mother and one in 1997 when it was said that he had allegedly ripped a telephone out of a wall:

"They show motive, they show intent. It would not be a harmless error
if the 1990 and 1997 charges were not admissible as evidence"
Jim Lowry

Judge Thomas Clark ruled that the evidence could be presented, though it was ruled that the fact that he had been convicted in both cases would not be allowed. Other minor offenses were not allowed in court, those charges included traffic and misdemeanor theft charges as well as an escape charge. Judge Thomas Clark ruled that information about another child Daniel had with another woman who had been married at the time to another man as well as Daniel's relationship with that child, would be allowed to be entered as evidence in court. Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Lou Anna Red Corn stated that while Daniel is thought to be the father of this child, there was no evidence to prove it:

"That is a collateral issue in this case. A whole day would be spent
during the trial discussing Daniel Bishop's relationship with a child he
has no legal right to"

Jim Lowry said that the lack of a relationship with that child would be a crucial fact and needed to be brought up during Courtney's murder trial. Jim Lowry said that Courtney had not been aware of Daniel's previous criminal record stating that he had lied and mislead her.

Daniel and Courtney had been married in September of 2006, with Caleb being born in January of 2007. Daniel and Courtney each stated they had no idea how Caleb had suffered the injuries that eventually caused his death. In March of 2007, after Courtney was charged with murder, they separated and were divorced in March of 2008. Jim Lowry said that there were witnesses who had seen Daniel with Caleb and they said he handled him in a rough manner:

"This baby had huge injuries and a crucial part of this case is how
Daniel Bishop handled that baby"

In March of 2010, Courtney Diane Bishop, who was 27 years old at this time plead guilty to reckless homicide. A trial date had been set, but Courtney plead in order to avoid that trial:

"Based on the evidence, we were and are convinced that Courtney Bishop
caused the death of her son Caleb. Period. Furthermore, she pleaded
guilty to it"
Attorney Ray Larson

It was recommended by Prosecutors that Courtney receive a sentence of five years in prison on the amended charge and that the criminal child abuse charge be dropped. A sentencing date was set for April 23rd. Daniel Bishop was not charged in any way with the death of his son.

With Attorneys Jim Lowry and Jerry Wright by her side, Courtney cried while answering questions asked of her by Judge Thomas Clark:

"It was in my care at the time and I didn't see that he could have been
hurt or possibly die"

Courtney gave no information about the injuries suffered by Caleb or how he had gotten those injuries. Sadly, she referred to Caleb as "it" and "he" rather than use his name.

Courtney was sentenced to only five years for what she did to her son, however, that's not even the saddest part. In December of 2010, Courtney was granted "shock probation", I have no idea what that even means. Standing before a Judge with her Attorney Jim Lowry by her side, Jim Lowry asked Judge Thomas Clark to allow Courtney to put her life back together. Sadly, Prosecutors did not argue and the Judge said:

"The court is certainly mindful of the history in this case"

Probation of five years was given to Courtney and she was ordered not to violate any laws and was not allowed to work in any environment that had children. No comments were made by Courtney's family as they left the hearing.

Once again I am left wondering, why do people keep getting away with killing children and then facing little to no punishment for what they did? Especially in this instance where NO ONE can or will say what happened to this Angel except for the fact that he died of blunt force trauma to his precious little head.

I decided to Google shock probation since I had never heard the term I found it here:
http://criminal-law.freeadvice.com/criminal-law/parole_probation/schock-probation.htm

Shock probation is a sentencing strategy offered in some jurisdictions to shock or introduce young offenders to the long-term realities of a criminal career through a short-term visit to prison. Even though shock probation is only offered by a few states, it can be an extremely helpful alternative to a regular prison sentence.

Shock Probation

The concept behind shock probation is to shock a defendant with the reality of incarceration. Even though it is structurally very similar to a split sentence, the requirements of shock probation are distinctly different. Like a split sentence, a defendant is sentenced to a period of confinement. Unlike a split sentence, however, a defendant serves a much shorter period of time. After being sentenced, a defendant must a make a motion to be brought back to the original trial court and to be placed on probation. This motion and the hearing on the motion must occur within a relatively short time after the defendant is sentenced and sent to prison, usually around six months. Failure to file a motion in a timely manner can result in a forfeiture of the right to ask for shock probation.

After receiving a timely filed motion, the prison authorities are required to submit a report to the trial court telling the court whether or not the defendant was compliant during the time he was in prison. A good behavior report will improve a defendant's chance of receiving shock probation. The court can either deny the motion (thereby ordering the defendant to complete the balance of the sentence), or grant the motion and place a defendant on straight probation. The decision to grant a shock probation motion is completely within the trial court’s discretion-- as long as the defendant is otherwise eligible to receive shock probation.

Shock Probation Eligibility

Only certain defendants can qualify for shock probation. Shock probation is designed to assist first time or early career offenders. A defendant being prosecuted under a career offender statute would not be eligible. However, a defendant who had previously received a deferred sentence that did not result in a final conviction could be eligible.

Shock probation is also meant to serve as a deterrent for lower level or non-violent offenses. The idea is that if a defendant knows and gets a feel of the eventual consequences of crime, then he will be deterred from committing future crimes. Offenses that would qualify for shock probation include drug, theft, and forgery type offenses. Shock probation is not available for aggravated offenses like aggravated sexual assault or aggravated robbery. Even though a defendant is eligible for a grant of shock probation, he should visit with an attorney before filing the motion to review the advantages and disadvantages of filing a shock motion.

Advantages

The first major advantage of a judge granting a defendant’s request for shock probation is that the defendant is released from prison after a relatively short time. However, a defendant doesn’t simply get to walk out unfettered. After a motion for shock is granted, a defendant will be expected to understand and follow all of the rules of a regular probation. If a defendant does not follow the rules, he is returned to prison.

The second major advantage of shock probation is the effect of the judgment on future enhancements. For example, in Texas, because the effect of a grant of shock probation is to suspend the sentence, the judgment will not be considered a final conviction for enhancement purposes later. However, the shock probation will prevent a defendant from later making an application for community supervision in a subsequent prosecution.

Shock probation has some definite advantages. However, a defendant should also consider his likely success while on probation and current parole standards. On a low sentence, a defendant could potentially be released on parole in the same amount of time it takes to get a motion for shock probation granted. Depending on the level of supervision in a particular jurisdiction, a defendant may find complying with parole rules easier than complying with the requirements of community supervision.

All I can say is that I am shocked that this woman refused to say HOW her son was injured so badly that it caused him to die, then she was given a ridiculous sentence of only five years and THEN that sentence was reduced to probation for five years. It's no secret that I am against the death penalty, however, my nephew was talking about this just last night. He believes that ANY person who injures a child while abusing them, should be hung and it should be broadcast on every channel on television as a deterrent to those who still abuse and kill children every day. He said that every person that kills a child, should be hung until EVERYONE gets the message, don't abuse children, don't kill children. I'm not sure if it would work or not, I think some people are just monsters who are beyond help and it wouldn't phase them at all, they would most likely have the "That would never happen to me" attitude. Maybe some day we'll see the end of child abuse, but not in my lifetime. As for those who have already gone "Home" due to child abuse, I'll see them when I get there!

Anna, I want to thank you so much for submitting Caleb's story to me. You did it in the perfect way. I am always grateful for those who remember a child and wish to have them honored. Without you and those thousands of people just like you who want to see these Angels memorialized, this site wouldn't be half as much as it is. This is a group effort, it's not only MY site, I'm just the one who writes it and gets it out there, but it is the site of every person who has ever written me to send a name, a story, a picture, an update or just an encouraging word. I love and thank you all!

This page was created on August 13, 2016
Death occurred in the state of Kentucky

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