Mom pleads guilty to abuse in death of Baby Sarah
Phyllis “Amy” Wyatt pleaded guilty Friday to child abuse resulting in the death of her month-old daughter, Sarah.
Sarah died June 20 in a Parachute apartment after suffering what an autopsy determined to be two potentially fatal injuries: bruising to her liver and a blunt force impact to the forehead that fractured her skull and caused hemorrhaging in her brain.
Her father, Matthew Ogden, is charged with first-degree murder in the case.
Wyatt told police that Ogden had violently shaken Sarah overnight before her death, but Wyatt said she didn’t get out of bed, according to an affidavit in the case.
Wyatt and Ogden skipped town before warrants for their arrests were issued. They were arrested in north-central Minnesota on June 30 on charges of being fugitives of justice from another state, a felony.
Wyatt pleaded guilty Friday to the one count against her: child abuse (negligence) resulting in death. She now faces up to 16 years in prison.
Her sentencing hearing is set for 2 p.m. Feb. 12. The sentence is up to the judge because prosecutors made no deal with Wyatt.
Sarah’s twin brother was unharmed in the incident and was taken into protective custody.
Documents filed the case showed that before moving to Colorado, Wyatt lost custody of her older children in California and once threatened to kill her family by burning her house down.
“It appears that Colorado’s marijuana laws and, also, her previous history with social services in California were a driving factor for the relocation” to Colorado from California, prosecutors said in a motion filed in September. “Defendant and Mr. Ogden were hoping that by coming to Colorado they would not immediately lose custody of the twins.”
The town of Parachute held a memorial service for Sarah with hopes of raising money to create a permanent memorial, such as a park bench, and to support a local nonprofit that serves child abuse victims and their families, and possibly to furnish a college fund for Sarah’s brother.
Ogden faces charges of first-degree murder of a child by a person in a position of trust, a class 1 felony; knowing or reckless child abuse causing death, a class 2 felony; and two counts of child abuse causing serious bodily injury, a class 3 felony.
His next court appearance will be at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 14.
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According to the New Castle Police Department’s official Facebook page, a “string of arson-related fires” have occurred in the town recently. Law enforcement believes “the fires to all be related.”