The day before she was set for trial, a 29-year-old woman pleaded guilty Thursday through an Alford plea to felony injury to child for shaking the 4-month-old girl she was babysitting.
Kyla Vaughn, of Caldwell, was charged last year for the baby’s injury, which authorities believe happened on Aug. 25, 2017. The baby survived but had a brain hemorrhage and retinal hemorrhages. Medical staff believe those injuries were caused by “intentional violent shaking or jerking or other intentional trauma,” according to a probable cause affidavit from the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office.
Vaughn pleaded guilty through an Alford plea, which means she does not acknowledge guilt, but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a jury to convict her. In exchange, the prosecutors dismissed her enhancement charge for “infliction of great bodily injury” which could have added another 20 years to her sentence.
Prosecutors agreed to recommend Vaughn serve four years fixed with six years indeterminate, for a combined prison sentence of 10 years.
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According to the probable cause affidavit, Vaughn was babysitting the child at her Caldwell home while the baby’s parents, who live in Parma, were on a date. The baby’s mother took the infant to the hospital on Aug. 27 after she became ill, exhibiting signs of vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy and fussiness and that’s when medical staff found the bleed. A doctor in the probable cause affidavit estimated the trauma occurred one to seven days before an exam on Aug. 29.
Vaughn initially denied shaking the child when asked by police. However, when police interviewed Vaughn’s child, who was at the Caldwell home while she was babysitting, the child admitted that he saw his mother shake the baby.
Vaughn will be sentenced at 10 a.m. Feb. 4 in Canyon County.