SALT LAKE CITY — A Magna babysitter who left a toddler with brain damage after shaking him in frustration was ordered Monday to spend up to five years in the Utah State Prison.
After she shook the child Nov. 28, Kelsey Autumn Briceno placed him in a playpen, where he hit his head on the wall and stopped responding, court documents say. Emergency doctors found the boy had brain hemorrhages on the left side of his head, police said. Prosecutors alleged his brain would not function in the future like it did before his injuries.
Briceno, 28, is doing well in therapy and took responsibility when she pleaded guilty in July to child abuse, a second-degree felony, her attorneys argued in court filings ahead of her sentencing hearing.
“She had a momentary lapse, allowed the stress of watching three small children to get to her, and she shook the 12-month-old,” her lawyer David Brown wrote. She allegedly told investigators she became frustrated because the child was crying and screaming.
Third District Judge Heather Brereton agreed Monday to a deal reached by Briceno and prosecutors that reduced Briceno’s conviction from a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, to a third-degree felony, which carries the five-year maximum.
Briceno deals with depression and is expecting a child in what is expected to be a high-risk birth in January, her attorneys said.
Police said she originally told police the boy fell down the stairs but later acknowledged she made up the story because she was “scared and she knows what she did was wrong,” court records say.