Babysitter arrested year after 5-month-old boy's death

Jessica Amster faces charges of aggravated manslaughter, culpable negligence


BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – A South Florida babysitter has been arrested more than a year after a 5-month-old boy in her care died.


Jessica Amster, 26, of Boynton Beach, faces charges of aggravated manslaughter of a child and culpable negligence. Boynton Beach police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said Amster was already in jail on drug-related charges.

Christian Bent died at Delray Medical Center in August 2015. The boy's father, Dwayne Bent, told police that he left his son in the care of Amster while he was at work.

According to a Boynton Beach police report, Bent said Christian had fallen from the bouncer that was on top of a coffee table a day before the boy was taken to the hospital, but he said Christian appeared to be OK.

Amster told police that Christian didn't sleep for very long and was "crying a lot" shortly after he was dropped off at her home.

Police said Amster never called 911 or sought help for Christian. Instead, Amster called the boy's father to let him know that Christian's nose was bleeding because she didn't want him to think she did anything to the baby.

Amster told police that she checked on Christian because he had been sleeping for a long time. When she found his diaper soaked in urine, Amster tried to wake him up, but he "didn't really wake up."

Police said Amster told them Christian turned "beat red," had an explosive bowel movement and "literally stopped breathing."

According to the report, Amster admitted that she "should have called 911 right away," but she was scared and feared that "she would be blamed."

Bent said Amster told him that something was wrong with Christian, but because she "never expressed the gravity of his condition," Bent didn't pick up the boy until hours later, the report said. He and the baby's mother took Christian to Bethesda Hospital East after the boy exhibited "facial drooping and unaligned eyes" while in his car seat.

Children at Amster's home said they saw her swinging and shaking Christian throughout the day.

An autopsy determined that Christian had bite marks and bone fractures to his body, as well as hemorrhages and brain swelling. 

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