Babysitter sentenced for killing 19-month-old New Haven boy

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NEW HAVEN — A Connecticut baby sitter charged in the death of a 19-month-old boy has been sentenced.

Kinjal Patel entered a guilty plea under the Alford Doctrine. That means she does not agree with the state’s case, but concedes there is enough evidence to secure her conviction. She will serve 14 years in prison for first-degree murder.

Police say Patel told detectives she was babysitting the child on Jan. 16, 2014, when she became angry with the boy and pushed him in the face, causing him to fall backward and hit his head.

The boy died days later. His death was ruled a homicide caused by blunt force.

Patel’s lawyer says his client didn’t intend to harm the child.

The child shouldn’t have been in Patel’s care in the first place. A previous incident involving Patel had led the boy to be injured before.

“Because there had been a prior incident where the child was injured and the Department of children and families had told the parents of the child not to leave that child with this babysitter,” said Stacey Miranda, the assistant state’s attorney.

The parents were charged with risk of injury for leaving the boy alone with the babysitter. They both received accelerated rehabilitation, and are now pregnant with another child.

Since she isn’t a citizen, Patel will likely be deported to her native India after serving her sentence.