77ºF

Babysitter pleads guilty in 2015 infant death, will spend just 25 days in jail

Jessica Amster will receive credit for time served, can no longer babysit

Jessica Amster pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated battery in the 2015 death of 5-month-old Christian Bent.
Jessica Amster pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated battery in the 2015 death of 5-month-old Christian Bent.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A babysitter facing a lengthy prison sentence for the death of a 5-month-old Boynton Beach boy in her care agreed to a plea deal Friday.

Jessica Amster, 28, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated battery in the 2015 death of Christian Bent and was sentenced to a year in jail.

Amster will receive credit for nearly a year already spent behind bars. Court records show she will be credited with 339 days, meaning she will serve just 25 days in jail.

Under the terms of her plea deal, Amster will serve five years of probation. She was also ordered not to have contact with Christian's parents and can no longer babysit for other people's children.

Amster was arrested by Boynton Beach police in 2016, more than a year after Christian died at Delray Medical Center in August 2015.

According to a Boynton Beach police report, the boy's father said Christian had fallen from the bouncer that was on top of a coffee table a day before the boy was taken to the hospital, but he said Christian appeared to be OK.

Amster told police that Christian didn't sleep for very long and was "crying a lot" shortly after he was dropped off at her home.

Police said Amster never called 911 or sought help for Christian. Instead, Amster called the boy's father to let him know that Christian's nose was bleeding because she didn't want him to think she did anything to the baby.

Amster told police that she checked on Christian because he had been sleeping for a long time. When she found his diaper soaked in urine, Amster tried to wake him up, but he "didn't really wake up."

Police said Amster told them Christian turned beet red, had an explosive bowel movement and "literally stopped breathing."

According to the report, Amster admitted that she "should have called 911 right away," but she was scared and feared that "she would be blamed."

Amster was initially charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child and culpable negligence, which could have resulted in a lengthy prison sentence if convicted.