NIAGARA COUNTY, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Niagara Falls woman who admitted she caused the severe injuries that led to the death of a three-and-a-half month old baby was sentenced to 25 years in prison. It was the maximum sentenced Niagara County Judge Matthew Murphy could impose.
Samantha Klein, 31, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in Niagara County Court in October.
Klein was watching Alaya Foster in a home on North Avenue in Niagara Falls in February when she took her to the hospital with a bleeding brain, a fractured skull and damage to her spinal cord.
Klein later admitted she caused the injuries by shaking the baby and using blunt force trauma. In court for the sentencing, the baby's grandmother called Klein a monster.
"You are an evil monster and we believe you are a dangerous person because you killed an innocent, helpless child who could not defend herself," stated Crystal Dusen, grandmother.
Dusen directed those strong words at Klein on behalf of the family of her granddaughter, Alaya.
Dusen asked Judge Murphy to hand down the maximum sentence for causing the death of the three-month-old girl klein was trusted to babysit.
Klein spoke at her sentencing claiming she was remorseful.
"I'm sorry. I'm truly sorry," declared Klein.
But Judge Murphy asked Klein why she waited a day to get help for the infant after realizing she was injured.
"Why didn’t you call her mother or her grandmother?" questioned the judge. "I didn’t know that the injuries were that bad," replied Klein. "I honestly didn't know what was even wrong with her." "Well if you didn't know…why didn't you do something to help her?" Murphy asked. "I don't know," Klein responded.
Upon imposing sentencing, the judge called Klein's actions "reckless" and the death of the baby "senseless."
Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek reacted to the sentence.
"There is not enough time, but under the circumstances we are satisfied with the results," Wojtaszek told reporters.
"I'm happy that they gave her the 25 years. It's never going to bring her back, but I'm glad justice was served," Dusen remarked.
Three weeks after the baby's death, Klein spoke to 7 Eyewitness News proclaiming her innocence.
"I'm innocent, I did nothing to that baby," Klein said at the time.
Klein also said the baby had a bruise on her face when she was dropped off to be watched by her on February 21, two days before she was taken to the hospital.
The baby's family had repeatedly insisted Klein was responsible for Foster's death, and called for quick action by police to file charges.
More than five months after Foster died, Klein was arraigned in Niagara County Courton charges of second-degree murder and three separate counts of manslaughter.
In addition to pleading guilty to manslaughter, Klein also admitted she sold fentanyl to a law enforcement officer in June 2018 and was behind a knife-point robbery in the Falls last Christmas Eve, according to the Niagara Gazzette.
During Tuesday's sentencing Klein was also sentenced to seven years on the attempted robbery charge, as well as two-and-a-half years for criminal sale. Those sentences will be served concurrently to the manslaughter charge.