‘Not a monster?’: Day care owner smashes 8-month-old baby boy’s head into a changing table, killing him

A former Roy, Utah, day care owner who killed an infant by slamming his head into a changing table was sentenced to prison on Wednesday.

Judge Scott Hadley sentenced Tisha Lynn Morley, 36, to five years to life in the Utah State Prison for the February 2014 death of Lincoln Penland. The 8-month-old sustained two broken arms, a fractured skull, and injuries to his brain and spine while in Morley’s care, according to The Salt Lake Tribune,

As CrimeOnline reported in May, Morley is believed to have killed Penland in a fit of rage. The child was described as being “cold and unresponsive” when his father, Chris Penland picked him up from the in-home day care on February 19.

The child was flown to the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, where a scan determined he had no brain activity. The 8-month-old was pronounced dead on February 28—a day after he was taken off life support.

The Office of the State Medical Examiner ruled the baby’s manner of death as a homicide, with the cause being blunt force injury to the head, according to KSTU.

ORIGINAL Story: 8-month-old baby killed by day care owner in fit of rage

Prosecutors claimed that Morley, who was the only adult home on the day in question, grabbed the baby by the arms and slammed him on the changing table.

Morley’s attorney unsuccessfully argued that the former Tots & Tykes Day Care owner unintentionally injured and killed the child. At one point, the defense accused the slain baby’s brother of causing the fatal injuries, The Tribune reported.

“This is something Tisha Morley did—but this is not who she is,” Logan Bushell said.

Morley was convicted of first-degree felony child abuse homicide in May. At sentencing, she apologized to the Penlands and claimed that her deadly actions were out of character.

“I’m not a monster,” she said.

“I’m not a terrible person. I’m a person who made a terrible mistake.”


[Featured Image: Roy City Police/Weber County Jail (inset)]