Kastyn Latham

Day care worker uses picture frame as playpen lid, toddler suffers permanent brain damage when his head gets stuck

A Richfield, Utah, day care employee was sentenced late last month for nearly killing a 22-month-old boy in her care by placing a heavy picture frame on top of his playpen.

The Richfield Reaper reported that Casey Bertelson, 28, was sentenced to 80 days in jail and 30 days home confinement for a May 15 incident that left Kastyn Tyler Latham with permanent brain injuries. Bertelson was working for her mother’s day care center when she placed a 3-by-4 foot picture frame over a playpen Latham was in, leading the boy to become strangled when his head got stuck between the frame and the playpen.

First responders performed CPR and managed to get Latham’s heart beating again. Though it’s unclear how long he went without air, doctors diagnosed him with brain damage, according to the newspaper.

“He’ll never play with his siblings,” said Shelise Musall, the toddler’s mother, adding that she’ll never be able to work again as her son requires round-the-clock care. “I trusted you. Now because of your negligence, I’m financially ruined.”

Musall also claimed that her son’s life expectancy was lowered due to the near-fatal incident.

Though Bertelson tearfully apologized for her actions in court, Judge Marvin Bagley accused her of being negligent before the incident and being deceptive after. According to The Reaper, Judge Bagley said that caring for 16 or 27 children is negligent in itself; he also found that Bertelson’s attempts to conceal what transpired were criminal.

In addition to jail time and home confinement, Bertelson was ordered to pay a $750 fine and restitution to the victim’s family, which will be determined at a later date.

Sevier County Attorney Dale Eyre said, “Really, there is nothing we can do today that will bring justice.”

[Featured Image: Kastyn Tyler Latham/GoFundMe]