Del. Daycare Worker Admits to Smothering 4-Month-Old Baby Girl Because She Wouldn’t Stop Crying

A former Delaware daycare worker faces 27 years in prison after pleading guilty to killing a baby girl who wouldn’t stop crying and for abusing four other children in her care.

Dejoynay Ferguson, 20, of New Castle, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder by abuse, six counts of first-degree child abuse and two counts of second-degree child abuse, the Delaware Department of Justice announced on Wednesday.

Her plea comes nine months after she was indicted by a grand jury “for the repeated abuse and murder of a child, and the abuse of four other children in her care at a daycare facility where she was employed,” the Delaware DOJ says in the release.

After an extensive investigation by the Delaware State Police and the Delaware DOJ, Ferguson was indicted on July 13, 2020, for 53 felonies for abusing the baby and the four children between July 16 and Sept. 5, 2019, the Delaware DOJ said in a release at the time.

a man wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Dejoynay Ferguson, 20, faces 27 years in prison after pleading guilty to killing a baby girl she was caring for because she was "fussy," and for abusing four other children at the daycare center© Provided by People Dejoynay Ferguson, 20, faces 27 years in prison after pleading guilty to killing a baby girl she was caring for because she was “fussy,” and for abusing four other children at the daycare center

The indictment charged her with one count of first-degree murder by abuse or neglect, and 48 counts of first-degree child abuse and 4 counts of second-degree child abuse.

On Wednesday, the Delaware DOJ said that Ferguson’s plea “includes an acknowledgement of guilt for the murder, along with the other abuse alleged in the State’s indictment.”

She remains held at the Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution until her sentencing, which has not yet been determined.

Her attorney did not immediately return PEOPLE’s calls for comment.

In September 2019, PEOPLE reported that Ferguson was arrested and charged with killing a 4-month-old in her care at the Little People Child Development Center in Bear.

Surveillance video showed Ferguson picking up the crying infant from the floor and placing her on a changing table, according to court documents obtained by The News Journal.

Assigned as the baby’s caregiver in the facility’s infant room, Ferguson “placed her hands over the victim’s mouth and nose” and “intentionally restricted her breathing until she became unresponsive,” state police said in statement at the time.

Wearing latex gloves, Ferguson held her hands over the baby’s face for three minutes, the court documents state, The News Journal reported.

Ferguson then placed the “motionless” baby in a crib, The News Journal reported.

After waiting 20 minutes, Ferguson told the daycare center owner that the baby was unresponsive “at which time a call was made to 911,” the statement said.

The next day, Ferguson was arrested.

During an interview with police, Ferguson said she grabbed the baby by the shirt because she had become “fussy” and wouldn’t stop crying, court documents state, The News Journal reports.

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