News & Politics

Queens Mom Hit With 10-Year Prison Sentence For Shaking 7-Month-Old Baby To Death

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A Queens mom is headed to the joint after pleading guilty to manslaughter and assault charges in the shaking death of her 7-month-old daughter.

Nyemah Nickens, 21, of 22-88 Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway, was sentenced to 10 years in prison today after pleading guilty last month to first-degree assault and second-degree manslaughter in the shaking death of her daughter, Nyla Nickens.

“For those who do not believe that shaking a baby can cause serious and irreparable injury or even death, this case – and the defendant’s confession – is a grim reminder that caretakers and parents can and do shake children to death,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown says. “Never, under any circumstances, should a baby be shaken. For this defendant, in addition to the lengthy prison sentence she must serve, she must forever live with the knowledge that she – and she alone – is responsible for her own child’s death.”

Nickens admitted to police that on September 4, 2010, she repeatedly shook her crying daughter in an attempt to get her to quiet down.

About 5 a.m. the next day, Nickens heard her daughter crying
again. When she checked on the girl, the 7-month-old was in a
“abnormal/unresponsive” condition.

Nickens took the girl to the hospital, where doctors discovered that
the baby had suffered serious injuries to her brain. Surgeons attempted a
procedure to relieve some of the pressure on girl’s skull. She died
four days later.