AP NEWS

Former area resident found guilty

January 21, 2019

OLATHE, Kan. — A former Northeast Nebraskan was found guilty late last week in a Johnson County, Kan., courtroom of severely injuring a four-month-old boy in her care and running an unlicensed daycare.

Paige Hatfield, who previously lived in Battle Creek, was found guilty on charges of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm — a felony — and operating an unlicensed daycare, which is a misdemeanor.

Kingston Gilbert had been in Hatfield’s care for just 11 days in 2017 when he was severely beaten, leaving him blind and suffering from brain damage.

On Jan. 31, 2017, Hatfield called 911 because Kingston was throwing up. According to court documents, doctors said Kingston was “suffering from abusive head trauma,” which is, “only caused by violent non-accidental physical trauma.” They said Kingston’s injuries resulted from “extreme violence.”

Prosecutors are asking for an enhanced sentence because Hatfield was a child care provider. Sentencing will be in March.

Kingston’s mother, Ashleigh Garcia, said that in the aftermath of the incident there are days that are “barely survivable.”

“We spent 18 days in the intensive care unit just praying that he got through,” Garcia said. “We were told by doctors he is never going to be the same boy. I mean, we pretty much had to grieve the loss of out child and accept that the baby that we were bringing home was not the baby that I dropped off at daycare that day.”

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