Nanny Convicted of Shaking Toddler To Death — Left Her To Die On Floor

Fri, March 21, 2014 11:15am EST by 6 Comments
Babysitter Shook Toddler Death
Courtesy of Facebook/ABC

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 DailyMailher 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?

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Posted at 10:23 AM on March 22, 2014  

She killed a defenceless child ……life in prison or death penalty…….sick of hearing this happening over and over. Parents, look after your children….who the hell are nannies…….what comes to mind is the drowning of 2 children in NYC by a so call Nannie. Here in Toronto there have been numerous. young children killed by babysitters and daycare workers so don’t take a chance on those unskilled, uneducated workers with your child’s life.

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Mister Baja

Posted at 1:28 PM on March 21, 2014  

so do not hire any nannies!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Posted at 4:44 PM on March 21, 2014  

Not all nannies are bad and abuse! I am a nanny and have been for 10+ years and have never hurt a child in any way. Parents need to do their homework prior to hireing. But to say never to hire any nannies is very extreme and uncalled for.

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Posted at 1:18 PM on March 21, 2014  

That’s what I’am saying what is wrong with the system?. Killing people is getting killers close to nothing and people that commit dumb offenses like selling pot or other petty crimes get alot of time in jail.How awful the 2 year old lay dying on that floor all because that dumb nanny was being evicted from her apartment.

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Posted at 12:12 PM on March 21, 2014  

Her charges were downgraded from murder?!? What is wrong with people these days?? On both sides! What’s wrong with that dumb, useless piece of trash *and* what’s wrong with our (supposed) justice system? If that isn’t murder then I don’t know what is. That’s part of the reason the world is so crazy, dangerous & out of hand…all the idiots know that they won’t get too much punishment so there is practically no fear (of getting in trouble, spending their life in prison, etc) to stop them from doing stupid $hit. People who make, sell or even carry meth get much harsher sentences/charges; what kind of message does that send? That it’s OK to be a demon disguised as a loving nanny, who shakes the baby to DEATH?? Apparently. If she’s facing 12 years she’ll probably be out in 5-6 with “good” behavior. Sickening…absolutely sickening.

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sheila polanski

Posted at 6:12 PM on March 24, 2014  

The truth will come out on who really killed maddie,who believes druggies &alcohalics everything said has been lies if she could afford to prove her innocense ;then you can judge.why are the parents of maddie involved with dyfes they didn;t tell the sitter that or theres a restrainting order against the dad &hee couldn;t be at the home,then he tried to see hiss daughter&threaten the sitter to slice her throat if she refused not to mention the other lies that are being said.truth will be told.

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