2012-06-15 / Top Stories

Mom Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison

A Far Rockaway mother was sentenced to ten years in prison for violently shaking her seven-month-old daughter who later died of the injuries she sustained, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced last week.

Nyemah Nickens, 21, of Mott Avenue, who has been held without bail since her arrest in September 2010, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree assault and seconddegree manslaughter before Queens Supreme Court Justice Robert Kohm who imposed yesterday’s determinate sentence of ten years in prison.

District Attorney Brown said that, in pleading guilty, Nickens admitted that, while at her boyfriend’s residence at 119-14 165 Street in South Jamaica, Queens, on the evening of September 4, 2010, she repeatedly shook her crying daughter – Nyla Nickens – until the infant stopped crying. At 5 a.m. the next morning, Nickens heard her daughter make a crying sound. When she checked on the baby, Nickens observed that the baby was in an abnormal/unres- ponsive condition.

At the hospital, an examination revealed that the baby had suffered serious injury to her brain.

Although the baby underwent a procedure to relieve pressure in her skull, she succumbed to her injury four days later.

According to medical personnel, Nyla’s injuries are consistent with the non-accidental trauma of shaken baby syndrome. “For those who do not believe that shaking a baby can cause serious and irreparable injury or even death, this case – and the defendant’s confession – is a grim reminder that caretakers and parents can and do shake children to death.

Never, under any circumstances, should a baby be shaken.

For this defendant, in addition to the lengthy prison sentence she must serve, she must forever live with the knowledge that she – and she alone – is responsible for her own child’s death,” DA Brown said in a statement.

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