SANTA CLARA, Utah (ABC4) – A Santa Clara woman was sentenced to prison August 10 for nearly killing her infant child, according to court documents.
On January 25, 2021, Nickolle Marie Priest, 29, was charged with one count of Aggravated Child Abuse, a Second Degree Felony.
Nearly two weeks prior, an officer with Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety received a report of child abuse that took place in Santa Clara.
A 4-month-old victim was reportedly admitted to the hospital with “intracranial bleeding and bilateral retinal hemorrhaging.
Through speaking with several doctors, the officer was informed that the victim’s injuries were caused by physical abuse — a type known as “Shaking Baby Syndrome.”
The officer reportedly spoke with both of the victim’s parents and found that the victim was in the care of her mother when the abuse took place, on the night of January 14.
According to the probable cause statement, the infant had been crying for an extended period of time when Priest became frustrated, and “attempted to get the victim to stop crying by ‘rocking and bouncing’ the victim aggressively.”
Priest stated that she held the victim with both hands around the victim’s chest while “bouncing and rocking” the victim. Priest also stated that her daughter’s head was not being held or supported, causing it to “thrash around.”
Priest said that she knew her daughter’s head should have been supported, but that she was frustrated at the time and “wanted the victim to stop crying.”
According to the statement, Priest recognized that immediately after her actions, her daughter’s behavior changed. Priest then called a nurse about the behavior, and later took her to the hospital.
Priest will reportedly serve one year at the Purgatory Correctional Facility in Washington County.