A caretaker charged in the death of an 8-month-old baby finally confessed to her crimes before a court on Tuesday.
Initially, Leah Walden told police she found the infant in her care unresponsive after nap time. However, Baltimore police arrested Walden in May 2017 after evidence revealed Reese Bowman was assaulted, according to the Daily Mail.
The childcare worker was charged with first- and second-degree murder, assault, child abuse, and reckless endangerment after authorities found surveillance video of the incident that occurred at Rocket Tiers Learning Center in Baltimore, according to WBAL.
Bowman had stopped breathing when medics and police were called.
At a court hearing, Walden later admitted to the judge that she snapped and smothered the child to death last year.
According to Assistant State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess, Walden reportedly told a co-worker:
“Girl, I’m frustrated. I’m sick of this little b***h. I hate this little b***h. She makes me want to punch her in the face.”
Judge Althea Handy and Bowman’s father, who was present in court, wept as footage from the heartbreaking scene played.
Baltimore police Chief Stanley Brandford said of the CCTV video:
“Reese Bowman, in my opinion, was tortured.
The video will show Walden covering the baby with excessive blankets for long periods of time, which fully covered the child’s head.
She violently snatched the child out of the crib by one arm several times, swinging at the baby as if she’s slapping her and placing pillows over the baby’s face.”
At one point, the child was “kicking wildly” as Walden suffocated her with a blanket. Handy said
“I’m just reflecting on everything I heard. There are tears everywhere in this courtroom.”
Walden’s justified her actions by explaining that she had lost her temper and needed more training to provide childcare for the infant.
Samantha Carlton, Walden’s sister, spoke on her behalf and told the court:
“She’s not a monster. She’s not an evil person. She was frustrated.”
The Bowman family said they are “devasted” after losing their little girl to such a horrendous act of violence.
Walden accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to life with 70 years suspended. She’s eligible for parole in 35 years.
The day care center closed after the murder.
Watch the video below: