A Massachusetts woman caused the injuries the led to the death of her 2-year-old daughter last year and failed to seek medical help in a timely manner, prosecutors say.
Shaniqua Leonard, 29, of Whitman, was held on $25,000 bail at her arraignment Tuesday in Brockton Superior Court after pleading not guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of Lyric Farrell on Dec. 28.
Leonard had originally been charged with reckless endangerment of a child but was indicted on the more serious charge.
Leonard told hospital personnel that the girl’s injuries, including bleeding behind her eyes and a hemorrhage inside of her skull, were self-inflicted when she hit her head on the ground.
Plymouth Assistant District Attorney Jessica Kenny said neurologists and other medical experts said the injuries were too severe for that to be the cause.
“The ophthalmologist who observed these injuries to her eyes indicated the type of force necessary to cause those injuries is akin to the type of force in a car accident,” Kenny said.
Leonard’s attorney said there’s no evidence his client caused the girl’s injuries.
Michael Tumposky also defended Leonard for not seeking medical help sooner, because she had six other children to care for.