Baby Sitter Pleads Guilty in Orange Scalding Case
Posted March 27, 2008 3:33 p.m. EDT
Updated March 27, 2008 10:29 p.m. EDT
Hillsborough, N.C. — A baby sitter facing first-degree murder in the scalding death of her best friend's toddler daughter pleaded guilty to a lesser murder charge Thursday, avoiding a possible life sentence.
The plea means Jamie Lee Wilson, 23, will get 31.8 to 40.5 years in prison on charges of felonious child abuse, first-degree kidnapping and second-degree murder in the Dec. 20, 2005, death of 2-year-old Briana Faucette.
Evidence presented in court showed Briana died six hours after suffering second- and third-degree burns on more than half of her body, including the back of her legs and knees.
According to an autopsy report, it appeared as though she had curled up in a ball while being dipped in hot water. Deputies took a temperature sample of water in the home and said it measured 140 degrees.
Prosecutors said Wilson, who was baby-sitting Briana at the time, waited 12 hours before calling 911. When she did, according to a 911 call, she told a dispatcher she awoke from a nap to find the child lying dead on the floor.
She told investigators, according to a search warrant, she spilled boiling water on the floor and that Briana sat in it.
In a statement read by her attorney, Wilson asked the child's family for forgiveness.
"I can't accept an apology from her, at least not at this point in my life," Briana's mother, Sherry Faucette, said outside the Orange County Courthouse.
"I think there will be a time I'll have to forgive myself for allowing my kids to be with her. So, there's no way I can forgive her before I can forgive myself for the things I just didn't see with her."
Faucette, joined in court by relatives wearing buttons with Briana's photo on them, said she agreed to the plea deal so they could move on with their lives.
"My best friend of 10 years – I never would have imagined she would have done something like this," Faucette said. "It's something we're going to deal with for the rest of our lives."