After she swaddled her as discipline when the toddler wet herself, a killer babysitter was jailed for the death of a two-year-old child.
Swaddling is the practice of covering babies in wraps or similar cloths to tightly limit the movement of the limbs.
Last month, in connection with the death of a two-year-old, Tranaya Darnecia Spencer, 22, from Portage, Michigan, pleaded no contest to the charges of manslaughter.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Scott W. Brower of Kalamazoo County said that a plea of no contest is handled the same as if she were pleading guilty.
In March 2020, after Spencer tightly wrapped her in a blanket after the toddler had a potty training accident, two-year-old Royalty Hooper-Houston sadly died in her apartment in Portage, Michigan.
To stop the youngster from running, Spencer then tied bits of clothing around the blanket.
Before finding her unresponsive, she then left Royalty tied up for several hours.
Spencer, who gave a groveling apology during the court hearing on Monday, hurried to keep Royalty under a cold tap in an effort to revive her, and when doing so, hit the child’s head several times.
The temperature of the young victim reached 41C and she died some days after being rushed to hospital.
Consequently, a coroner ruled that Royalty had died from numerous injuries, including asphyxia.
Deputies arrested Spencer on a two-count death-related felony warrant on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. She was convicted of manslaughter and third-degree child neglect in court on June 17.
Spencer was sentenced to serve between two and 15 years in prison on Monday, January 4, in connection with his murder.
Prosecutor Christin Mehrtens-Carlin told the sentencing hearing on Monday: “An adult knows that if you wrap up a two-year-old for several hours, you are at high risk of death or great harm to your body.”
And that risk involves taking the child and shaking the child underwater and shaking her so hard that you slam her head off the wall and slam her body on the floor.
“All those are thing the accused admitted that she did.”
WoodTV notes that Mehrtens-Carlin and Paul Bridenstine, the sentencing judge, decided that Royalty was not supposed to be killed by Spencer.
But after criticizing her ‘entirely unacceptable’ and ‘grossly reckless’ actions, Judge Bridenstine handed Spencer the long custodial term.
Apologizing to the court, a mother of two, Spencer, said: “I just want to say I’m sorry.”
All I want to do is say that I just regret all that has happened. Since she was six months old, I have been looking after Royalty and I loved her like one of my own children.
“I would never do anything to intentionally hurt her.”
Spencer said her family decided on January 13 to lay flowers on Royalty’s grave to mark what would have been the third birthday of the youngster.