KEY POINTS

  • Dejoynay Ferguson was arrested on Sept.5, 2019
  • She also admitted to eight abusive charges in addition to the murder charge
  • The infant's family filed a lawsuit against the daycare center in May

A child care worker in Delaware has pleaded guilty to murdering a 4-month-old baby by suffocation as she was pestered by the infant's persistent crying, the Department of Justice confirmed Tuesday.

20-year-old Dejoynay Ferguson of New Castle admitted to suffocating infant Isabella Talton to death in September 2019. She also admitted to eight abusive charges in addition to the murder charge. This includes charges stemming from abusing Talton and four other children at the child care center.

Ferguson was arrested on Sept.5, 2019, for suffocating Talton at the Little People Child Development Center in Bear, Delaware Online reported. Ferguson told the police that she suffocated Talton as she was “fussy” and would not stop crying.

The video surveillance at the center showed Ferguson grabbing the infant by her shirt and putting her on a changing table. She then covered Talton’s nose and mouth with her hands for more than three minutes. Ferguson was wearing latex gloves when she suffocated the infant. Talton was active and moving before she was placed on the changing table but became motionless after Ferguson takes her hands off her face, the video showed.

Ferguson then placed the motionless baby inside the crib and notified the facility owner that the baby was unresponsive 20 minutes after the incident. She initially told the police a different version of the incident but later confessed to the murder after being confronted with the video.

A detailed investigation later revealed that Ferguson had abused four other children at the center aged between 1 and 15 months, news outlet WDEL reported.

Ferguson was initially charged with first-degree murder, but her charges were upgraded 10 months later to include more than four dozen child abuse charges.

Last May, Talton’s family filed a lawsuit against the daycare center, alleging that the facility was responsible for the infant’s death.

Timothy Lengkeek, the family’s attorney, told Delaware Online that there are still many unanswered questions. “What kind of training and experience did she have that qualified her to have that position? How was she supervised? What do those surveillance tapes show?” Lengkeek was quoted by the publication as saying.

The facility has still not made public if Ferguson had any previous experience in caring for children and her qualifications prior to working at the center. According to the reports, she had passed a background check before she was placed at the daycare facility.

The court has not yet scheduled a date for sentencing Ferguson, who now faces 27 years to life in prison.

crib-890565_640 The video surveillance at the center showed Ferguson grabbing the infant by her shirt and putting her on a changing table where she covered the infant's face for more than three minutes. Photo: pixabay