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Babysitter sentenced to 8 years for child abuse of baby cousin

Woman told police 7-month-old with broken limbs fell down stairs

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Terrvahnda Rock
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Terrvahnda Rock

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Just over a year after a baby girl was injured while being watched by a relative, the woman pleaded guilty to child neglect and was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison.

When 7-month-old Belle Baker was brought to Wolfson Children's Hospital on Oct. 18. Terrvahnda Rock, 23, told the doctors the girl had fallen down the stairs.

Belle was put in intensive care due to multiple injuries. She had brain swelling, both legs and arms were broken, her collar bone was fractured and she had bruises on her face.

When investigators with the Child Protection Team determined the injuries were inconsistent with a fall down the stairs, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office began an investigation. 

Belle's parents said they left their baby with Rock, the wife's cousin, to watch for a few days, and then got a call that the little girl was in the hospital.

Belle's mother, Ashley Ervin, said her daughter has recovered physically but still suffers some psychological issues.

According to the initial police report, a baby seat made out of plastic was in Rock's hallway in front of the stairs with a small, soft child's toy. Rock told police Belle possibly pulled herself to the stairway by sliding across the tile floor and then climbed on the child seat and fell down the stairs with the seat.

When arrested Feb. 26, she denied causing any injuries to Belle, according to the report.