Judge sets bail for Massachusetts mom accused in death of 2-year-old daughter

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Massachusetts mom accused in 2-year-old daughter’s death, judge sets bail

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A Whitman, Massachusetts, mom was in court Monday morning for a dangerousness hearing regarding the death of her 2-year-old daughter in late December.

Shaniqua Leonard, 29, was charged with reckless endangerment in early January after her daughter, Lyric Farrell, was found bruised and unresponsive on a couch on Dec. 28. Farrell was pulled from life support a few days later.

According to a police report, Farrell suffered a brain hemorrhage from a nonaccidental traumatic head injury. Investigators also found fresh scratches to her face, neck, torso and back. Leonard told police that Farrell hadn’t been eating, and that she had been scratching herself and banging her head.

The judge at Monday’s hearing set bail for Leonard at $2,500 cash with several conditions, including: she cannot possess or own a firearm; must refrain from using drugs or alcohol; must undergo a medical and psychiatric evaluation; must report weekly to the probation department; cannot have contact with any of her children, supervised or otherwise; cannot have unsupervised visits with any other minor children; must wear a GPS bracelet as a condition of her release on this case.

Leonard's pretrial hearing date is scheduled for Feb. 3.

Leonard can attend her daughter’s funeral, but cannot speak to any of her children and must be at least 10 feet away from other children at the funeral.

In Monday’s hearing, a Massachusetts State Police trooper took the stand and a 911 call recording was played, in which the caller says her daughter was having trouble breathing.

Leonard: “My child is dying, I, I don’t hear her breathing.”

Dispatcher: “I’m sorry?”

Leonard: “I can’t hear my child breathing. She’s like, unresponsive.”

That trooper testified that when Whitman police arrived at Leonard’s apartment, Farrell did not have a pulse. They also said that she couldn’t have self-inflicted her nonaccidental head injury.

Chris Farrell, Farrell’s father, and other family and friends were in court.

A trooper said that Farrell had been 2-to-4-months-old when she was taken from Leonard's custody. She was placed back in her care in November, just weeks before her death.

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