A daycare worker has pleaded guilty to killing an eight-month-old girl by smothering her with a blanket because she wouldn’t go to sleep.
Leah Walden, 24, admitted the murder of little Reese Bowman, at Rocket Tiers Learning Center, Baltimore in May 2017, at a court hearing on Tuesday, wbaltv reports.
Walden was sentenced to 70 years in prison for the horrifying killing by Judge Althea Handy who sobbed as she handed it down.
In heartbreaking scenes, Reese’s father Justin Bowman wept as he told the court: ‘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.’
Turning to Walden and pointing he said: ‘Reese Annette Bowman accomplished more in her short life than this woman ever will.’
Walden tried to explain her actions by saying she had snapped and had not been given appropriate training or assistance for her job.
Assistant State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess said Walden had told a co-worker, ‘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.’
The court heard that Walden returned from lunch and became frustrated that baby Reese would not sleep.
She then slapped her and pinned her down before piling blankets over her face and suffocating her.
Walden initially claimed she had fed the baby and put her in a crib for a nap before coming back 45 minutes later to find the girl unresponsive.
But her argument unraveled after the center’s CCTV revealed the truth.
Walden was seen covering the baby with ‘excessive blankets for long periods of time’.
She was also filmed covering the child’s face with a pillow, violently snatching the baby and slapping her.
CCTV footage played in court showed the baby kicking wildly as the enraged daycare worker smothered her with a blanket.