A jury found a Roy, Utah, day care owner guilty of slamming an 8-month-old’s head and body against a changing table in a fit of frustration, killing the infant.
Tisha Lynn Morley, 36, was convicted of child abuse homicide in connection with the February 2014 death of Lincoln Penland. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Penland sustained two broken arms, a fractured skull, and injuries to his brain and spine.
According to KSTU, Roy police said the infant was “cold and unresponsive” when Chris Penland picked his son up from the in-home day care. The infant was flown to the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, where a scan determined he had no brain activity. He died on February 28—a day after he was taken off life support.
Dr. Pamela Ulmer of the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner testified that Lincoln died from blunt force trauma to the head and that his death was ruled a homicide, the Associated Press reported.
Defense attorney Logan Bushell unsuccessfully argued that Lincoln could’ve been fatally injured by his 3-year-old brother when Morley left the room for 20 minutes. Bushell asked the jury to convict his client of negligent homicide. The Class A misdemeanor would put the 36-year-old behind bars for no more than a year.
Prosecutors made a case that the Tots & Tykes Daycare proprietor, who was the only adult present at the time, picked Lincoln up by the arms and slammed him into the changing table. The prosecuting attorneys presented a cracked table stained with Penland’s vomit during closing arguments on Monday.
“This case is every parent’s worst nightmare,” prosecutor Branden Miles said.
“These [infants] are the most fragile members of our society. They are completely defenseless.”
Convicted of a first-degree felony, Morley faces life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for June 20.
[Featured Image: Roy City Police/Weber County Jail]