Baby sitter found guilty of aggravated manslaughter

A Monmouth County jury has found a baby sitter guilty in the death of 14-month-old Mason Hess.



Michelle Heale was found guilty of aggravated manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child. The jury did not find Heale guilty of murder, the most severe of the charges.



Prosecutors say Heale shook the child so hard that he suffered brain lacerations and spinal injuries.



Heale maintains the boy was choking on applesauce while sitting on her bedroom floor and that she tried to help him by slapping him on the back.



The trial was transferred from Ocean County because Heale's husband and the child's father both work for the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.



She could face 10 to 30 years in prison when sentenced.


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