Lancaster Woman Sentenced to Prison for Assaulting Infant in Her Care

LANCASTER, PA — A Lancaster City woman was sentenced to 4 ½ to 10 years in state prison and ordered to pay $305,812.94 in restitution Wednesday for assaulting a three-month-old baby who was in her care.

Kayla Tucker, 34 of the 500 block of N. Plum Street, pleaded guilty on Oct. 6, 2022, to three felony counts of aggravated assault and a felony count of endangering the welfare of children.

Assistant District Attorney Fritz Haverstick prosecuted the case but left his comments brief during the sentencing proceeding before Lancaster County Judge Merrill Spahn.

“I think it’s more important that you hear from the parents of this little guy rather than the assigned Assistant District Attorney,” Haverstick told the Judge.

Both parents spoke about how they thought they could trust Tucker to be the caregiver of their newly born child while they worked. They also spoke about the intensive rehabilitation and lasting medical issues their son will face and hardships it has caused their family.

“Justice for your son would be going back in time and making sure this never occurred,” Spahn said. “What you have lived is a parent’s worst nightmare.”

Tucker and defense counsel spoke and listed the defendant’s remorse, cooperation with law enforcement, taking responsibility through pleading guilty, and her amenability to rehabilitation as reasons to order a mitigated sentence.

“There is a child who will have injuries he’ll have to deal with for the rest of his life due to your conduct alone,” Spahn said to Tucker before ordering sentence.

Spahn also ordered a provision preventing Tucker from having contact with any of the victims.

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The Lancaster City Bureau of Police responded to Tucker’s address in the 500 block of N. Plum Street on Aug. 30, 2021, around 11:20 a.m. for the report of a three-month-old child who was barely conscious and having trouble breathing. The child was transported to a local hospital, and after life-threatening injuries were assessed, was taken by helicopter to a second hospital in critical condition.

Lancaster County Bureau of Police Detective Jessica Higgins investigated and filed charges that Tucker shook the baby, causing a subdural hemorrhage in the brain and other injuries.

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