A Maryland woman confessed in a Baltimore court Tuesday that she smothered an infant girl to death because the baby wouldn’t go to sleep.
The Baltimore Sun reports that during an emotional hearing at the Baltimore Circuit Court that lasted around two hours, 24-year-old former daycare worker Leah Walden admitted that she intentionally killed 8-month-old Reese Bowman. The incident occurred in May 2017 at the Rocket Tiers Learning Center, where surveillance footage captured the traumatic scene.
According to court testimony, Walden returned from lunch and noticed the baby was awake. Frustrated that Reese wouldn’t sleep, Walden slapped the infant, then pinned her down in a crib. When Reese started to kick her legs about, Bowman snatched her from the crib, threw her back down and pushed a blanket over the baby’s face. Walden then held the blanket over Reese’s face until she stopped moving.
“Girl, I’m frustrated … I’m sick of this little b—. I hate this little b— … She makes me want to punch her in the face,” Walden reportedly said to a co-worker, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess.
Walden, who appeared in court shackled and wearing a jail sweatshirt, said she snapped and didn’t know how to appropriately handle the situation. She claimed she was never given proper training at her job.
“There was not a time in my heart that I wanted this to happen,” Walden said.
Department of Education’s Office of Child Care placed an emergency suspension on Rocket Tiers after Reese’s death. The daycare shut down completely afterward, and has not re-opened.
The little girl’s family moved from Baltimore after the incident, but came back to attend the hearing. One family member held a baby book with Reese’s photo on it, and kissed it during the hearing.
When prosecutors began detailing the gruesome incident, the baby’s father walked out of the courtroom. He later read a victim impact statement to the judge, trembling as he peered down at his notes.
“I will never see my girl take her first steps, hold her, kiss her, comfort her when she’s scared, hear her say ‘I love you.’ I am devastated.”
Walden will spend at least 70 years of her life imprisonment sentence behind bars.
“I’m just reflecting on everything I heard,” Judge Althea Handy, who cried herself during the hearing said. “There are tears everywhere in this courtroom.”
[Feature Photo: Reese Bowman/GoFundMe]