U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Kentucky
(502) 582-5911
November 17, 2015

Fort Campbell, Kentucky Resident Guilty of First-Degree Manslaughter Resulting from Child Abuse

LOUISVILLE, KY—A Fort Campbell, Kentucky, woman pleaded guilty today before Senior United States District Judge Thomas B. Russell to a Superseding Information charging her with first degree manslaughter in the death of an infant whom she was babysitting in December 2013, announced United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.

Sheilla E. Linares, age 22, is in the custody of the United States Marshals Service and will be sentenced in Louisville on February 24, 2016 at 11:45 a.m.

Linares, pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter in the December 7, 2013 death of T.R.C., Jr.

According to the Plea Agreement, Linares admitted that on December 3, 2013, while on Fort Campbell Military Base, a special jurisdiction of the United States, located in Christian County, Kentucky, she provided babysitting service for an infant child, T.R.C., Jr. Three other children were also in the residence under Linares’ care that day, her two young children and T.R.C., Jr.’s three-year-old sister, A.C. No other adults were present in the residence during the day.

Between 3:00-3:30 p.m. Linares intentionally caused serious injury to T.R.C., Jr. Linares later admitted to law enforcement that it took her less than a second to realize that what she had done was completely wrong. She admitted to then putting the baby in the swing at which point, the infant became unresponsive. Linares stated that she then called the baby’s mother and 9-1-1.

An ambulance transported T.R.C., Jr. to the emergency room at the Army hospital located on Fort Campbell Military Base. His condition deteriorated and he was transported to Vanderbilt. While being treated at Vanderbilt, medical personnel noticed bruising that appeared on both of his shoulders as well as his left upper arm. Medical tests and examinations revealed bilateral subdural hemorrhage (approximately 25 ml total volume), focal subarachnoid hemorrhage, cerebral edema, bilateral optic nerve sheath hemorrhage, subdural blood throughout the spinal cord, and cervical nerve root hemorrhage. T.R.C., Jr.’s injuries were a result of Linares’ abuse. Those injuries led to his death.

On December 7, 2013, T.R.C., Jr., was determined to have insufficient brain activity to sustain life, and pronounced dead. The amended autopsy report of the Tennessee medical examiner lists the cause of death as blunt force injuries of the head and neck.

According to the Plea Agreement, Linares will be sentenced to 18 years in prison followed by a three-year period of Supervised Release. She faces a fine of up to $250,000.00. There is no parole in the federal system.

Assistant United States Attorney Jo E. Lawless is prosecuting the case. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the United States Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the Clarksville Tennessee Police Department, conducted the investigation.

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