An eastern Missouri woman was sentenced to five years of probation for the shaking death of a 13-month-old girl in 2011. Thirty-six-year-old Jennifer Winkler of Eureka also was sentenced Monday to 500 hours of community service and was banned from caring for children other than her own.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Winkler was originally charged with second-degree murder and child abuse after police said she shook Lily Annabella Rieger to death at Winkler's home day care in Eureka.
Winkler pleaded no contest to manslaughter in 2014. But she denied shaking the baby and said the girl was injured hours before Winkler began watching her.
The Missouri Attorney General's Office, which handled the case, asked for a seven-year prison term, citing Lily's age and her family's suffering. The baby reportedly had a fractured skull and brain trauma when she died.
But Winkler's lawyer asked St. Louis County Circuit Judge Nellie Ribaudo to honor the terms of the 2014 plea agreement, which have since been disputed, that carried a maximum prison sentence of 12 months, the paper reports.
Ribaudo reportedly sentenced Winkler to the seven years but suspended the prison time in favor of probation, along with the community service and counseling, according to the paper.
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