Baby sitter sentenced to 15 years for tot's shaking death

AP News
Posted: Jun 26, 2015 5:44 PM

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey baby sitter convicted of fatally shaking a toddler left in her care has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The Asbury Park Press ( ) reports that Michelle Heale was sentenced Friday in the 2012 death of 14-month-old Mason Hess.

The 46-year-old Toms River resident was convicted in April of aggravated manslaughter and child endangerment but acquitted of murder.

Hess told Superior Court Judge Francis Vernoia that she isn't a violent person and says she wouldn't have done anything differently. She contends she was trying to save the child from choking on applesauce.

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Heale testified that the toddler went limp after she hit him between his shoulder blades. Doctors later determined the boy suffered severe brain, spine and retinal damage from a violent shaking.


Information from: Asbury Park (N.J.) Press,