A New Jersey babysitter has pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter after shaking a 2-year-old to death. The 36-year-old woman was initially going to be charged with murder and faced life in prison, but for some reason the charges were downgraded and now she may only face 12 years.
Sheila Polanski pled guilty to shaking 2-year-old Madeline McHenry, then threw her on the floor and left her to die. The former nanny then decided to play Facebook games for two hours before calling 911.
Babysitter Pleads Guilty To Shaking Toddler To Death
New Jersey babysitter Sheila Polanski pled guilty to charges that she killed 2-year-old Madeline McHenry on July 5, 2011. Sheila claims that she was stressed out after being evicted out of her apartment, so when the toddler started whining she shook her to shut her up. The violent shaking caused little Madeline to go unconscious and, according to the DailyMail, her supposed caretaker did not call the police for two whole hours after that.
Instead, the 36-year-old passed some time playing the Facebook game “Yo-ville,” and then called a friend to ask for advice before finally calling 911. Unfortunately, by the time authorities arrived it was just too late for little Madeline.
Sheila was arraigned in 2011 and faced life in prison, but her charges were downgraded from murder to aggravate assault. On March 20, she pled guilty to the lesser charge, leaving her to face only 12 years in prison. Sheila will return to court for sentencing on May 2, 2014.
Madeline McHenry’s Family Reacts
Madeline’s distraught parents Jen and Dan McHenry said in court that Sheila came highly recommended. Unfortunately, the couple did not find out that she was on mental health medication and had a criminal record until after their little girl’s death. The grieving parents openly cried in court when Sheila was initially arraigned in 2011, and understandably so.
“I don’t know what was going through her mind or how she could pick her up and shake her and throw her across the room and kill my little girl,” Dan said in court. “She had the best personality in the world, very outgoing. She loved everything. She loved to sing. She’s just the sweetest, cutest little peanut on the planet.”
A truly disturbing story. Our thoughts go out to the McHenry family.
What do you think, HollyMoms? Should Sheila be charged with murder instead?