A Norfolk, Nebraska, woman was due to appear in court March 22 on a charge of child abuse resulting in death after her 4-year-old daughter was pronounced dead March 20.
Carla Montoya, 21, who was originally charged with negligent child abuse, now faces a class 1B felony with a minimum prison sentence of 20 years if convicted and a maximum penalty of life behind bars, according to KWBE.
Kaylee Hoehne was rushed to the hospital March 13 and discovered to have a fractured skull and bruises all over her body. Doctors also detected internal bleeding on the brain, and she was put into a medically-induced coma.
Attorney Joseph Smith said Kaylee’s family was keen to have the 4-year-old’s organs donated.
“That’s important to the family,” Smith told the Omaha World Herald.
Montoya was arrested by officers March 13. She admitted to throwing Kaylee onto her bed three times between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. March 12. She added that she thought her daughter may have banged her head on the bed frame or the wall.
Montoya also told investigators she had squeezed Kaylee around her torso.
She then put Kaylee to bed, and the 4-year-old woke up later vomiting. Montoya subsequently put her in the shower, but said Kaylee was unresponsive and lethargic, according to Siouxland News.
Montoya described herself as being “very upset” when she threw Kaylee.
Montoya is being detained on a $500,000 bond.
A local group has been set up to raise awareness of child abuse. People are being asked to donate bears, which will then be brought to the children’s hospital in Norfolk, Nebraska, and given out to patients.
The event started with motorcyclists, because one of Kaylee’s uncles was a keen rider.
“But we want all vehicles,” said organizer Krista Freeman, according to the World Herald. “It doesn’t matter if [you] are a motorcycle rider or not. Any vehicle will be great.”