Babysitter Says Split Second Decision Cost Toddler's Life
An Omaha mother of seven children is going to prison for at least 11 years after being convicted in the death of 17-month-old Rosalyn Clarke.
"This was a blink of an eye, split second reaction to her pulling my hair, something minor," said Chantal Randall at the Omaha Correctional Center Tuesday afternoon.
The 31-year-old woman who pleaded no contest to child abuse resulting in death was sentenced Tuesday to between 25 and 35 years in prison. She could be eligible for parole in 11 to 16 years.
Randall told police she hit 17-month-old Rosalyn Clarke in the abdomen, then spent hours holding the child.
The child suffered blunt-force trauma to the liver and died from her injuries, investigators said.
"I wrapped her in the blanket and I cradled her in my arms and I rocked her on my bed. I did not call 911 and it wasn't even a thought, for some reason at the time. All I could think of to do was to comfort this child and hold on to this child," Randall said.
She said she dressed the girl and put her in her family van to pick up another child at school. It was at that time Randall said she put a quarter in the girl's throat to make it look as if the girl had choked.
"If she snapped, call 911. She was able to put her in the car seat, able to drive her. I could see a light sentence if she called 911 quickly," said Kevin Clarke, Rosalyn's father.
Clarke said the way Randall tried to hide the toddler's death is unforgiveable. He said he wanted Randall to receive the death penalty. He said he was disappointed with the 25 to 35 year prison sentence.
Randall said she is deeply sorry for her actions.
"I get to go home. I get to go home. Rosie doesn't go home," she said.
Randall was in tears as she spoke to the judge on Tuesday. She said there are no words that can express how deeply sorry she is.
Judge Joseph Troia said he took into account several letters written in Randall's support. He also said there's nothing that can bring Rosie back.
Randall later said in prison she wouldn't make excuses for her actions. She said she was pregnant with twins and caring for 5 of her own children and she was overwhelmed.
The prosecution said the sentence is fair.
Randall's fiancé, Ray Miller, who is the father to five of her seven children, said he's standing by her.
"The picture most people have of her is a monster, and she's not," he said. "She's a very caring, loving mother. Loved people. Loved kids -- mainly kids. She just loved kids."
Miller said he can't imagine being in the Clarke family's position.
"Knowing that they lost their daughter, I mean, I can't fathom not having one of my children. I can't imagine what the Clarkes have gone through," Miller said. "My heart goes out to the Clarkes. I pray for them and hope they can find forgiveness someday in their heart."
Randall received credit for the 517 days she has already served.