SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A daycare operator and foster mother was sentenced
today to 14 years behind bars in connection with the death of her nearly 2-year-
old foster son.
Linda Faye Coleman, 51, recently pleaded guilty to felony child abuse
for the June 27, 2007, death of Malachi Roberts-McBride. She had faced a murder
charge before reaching the plea deal.
Judge Charles Rogers said the case presented “starkly divergent views’
of the defendant, between the facts of the case and the large showing of
support she received from family and friends.
Robin Simon, a Lemon Grove real estate broker, told the judge she placed
her two grandchildren with Coleman for daycare services in San Diego’s
Mountain View neighborhood and she took good care of them.
“Linda is one of the most caring, conscientious people I know,’ Simon
said, telling the judge that the defendant had “the gift of love’ for
Despite the support, Coleman bears criminal responsibility for Malachi’s
death, the judge said.
Prosecutors said the boy suffered from brain swelling, bruises all over
his body and bumps on his head when he was brought to Rady Children’s Hospital.
Authorities determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma, and not an
At a previous hearing, a lawyer for Coleman said she had run a licensed
daycare center for 15 years before Malachi died and had been a foster mother
for 10 years, and that the boy was a polio victim who could not walk well.
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