A Utah day care worker has been sentenced to prison after an 8-month-old boy died in her care. As The Salt Lake Tribune reported, 36-year-old Tisha Lynn Morley was convicted in May of first-degree felony child abuse homicide in the 2014 death of 8-month-old Lincoln Penland. On Wednesday, a judge sentenced Morley to the maximum sentence — a five-year-to-life term in the Utah State Prison.
“I’m not a monster,” Morley said during the sentencing. “I’m not a terrible person. I’m a person who made a terrible mistake.” She admitted that she made a “neglectful and careless mistake” that led to the boy's death, but asked the judge not to give her prison time.
On February 19, 2014, Lincoln suffered fatal injuries at Morley’s in-home day care. His skull was fractured and both arms were broken. His brain and spine also sustained injuries. The infant died days later at a hospital.
Prosecutors accused Morley of grabbing the child by his arms and slamming his head and body on a changing table. Her defense claimed that it was actually Lincoln’s brother, then-3-year-old Boston, who hurt him when she was out of the room.
Morley was the only adult on the premises at the time.
“You blamed Boston,” Alesha Penland, the infant's mother, said in court. “ … And that is what is the most crushing of this whole thing, is knowing that he was blamed when he did nothing but love his brother. I wish more than anything I could tell you all the times that we’ve found him crying in bed because he missed his brother so much.”
[Photo: Getty Images]