Daycare operator gets up to 4 years in death of baby

October 11, 2019 GMT

WOBURN, Mass. (AP) — A former daycare operator whose second-degree murder conviction in the death of an infant in her care was reduced by a judge to involuntary manslaughter has been sentenced to up to four years in prison.

Pallavi Macharla, who had faced a life sentence after her conviction by a jury in May of second-degree murder, said at sentencing Friday that she loved the child “nearly as I love my daughter.”

Prosecutors said the 44-year-old Macharla shook 6-month old Ridhima Dhekane in March 2014 so violently her brain bled. Macharla was a physician in her native India who ran a daycare out of her Burlington, Massachusetts home.

Macharla testified in her own defense that the baby vomited shortly after eating applesauce and then stopped breathing.

Her attorney asked the judge for probation.