A Kansas daycare owner operating without a license has been found guilty of abusing a child in her care, leaving the 4-month-old boy blind and with irreperable brain damage.
A Johnson County jury decided 27-year-old Paige Hatfield was responsible for a severe beating that caused significant injuries to the infant, Kingston Gilbert.
Gilbert had been in the care of Hatfield for a mere 11 days before the beating occurred. Hatfield had called emergency services on Jan. 31, 2017 after the baby began vomiting. Doctors at Children's Mercy Hospital said Kingston was “suffering from abusive head trauma ... caused by violent non-accidental physical trauma," according to court documents. It was concluded that the Kingston had been the victim of "extreme violence."
James Anderst, division director of child abuse pediatrics at Children’s Mercy, told the court that Kingston's brain had bleeding on it in three separate locations. The child also suffered severe bleeding in the back of his eyes. These injuries were consistent with the symptoms the child exhibited before being hospitalized, said the doctor, according to The Kansas City Star.
Prosecutors are pushing for a harsh sentence for Hatfield, as she is a childcare provider.
Hatfield had pleaded not guilty to the charges, which included aggravated battery and a misdemeanor count of operating an unlicensed day care.
“Ms. Hatfield repeatedly denied that (the baby) suffered a fall or was injured in any way in her care,” a detective wrote in court documents.
Ashleigh Garcia, the child's mother, remains devastated by the situation.
"We spent 18 days in the I.C.U. just praying that he got through,” Garcia said to Fox 4 Kansas City. “We were told by doctors he is never going to be the same boy. I mean, we pretty much had to grieve the loss of our child and accept that the baby that we were bringing home was not the baby that I dropped off at daycare that day."
Hatfield will be sentenced on March 28.
[Photo: Johnson County Detention Center]
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