WEST JORDAN, Utah -- A 20-year-old woman is charged with two counts of child abuse after video footage revealed her kicking, shaking, hitting and covering the noses and mouths of 5-month-old twin girls while their parents were at work.
McKenna Newell is charged with two counts of child abuse, second-degree felonies. The charges came after her employer, the father of two 5-month-old twin girls, shared video footage with police that prosecutors said depicted Newell abusing the twins.
According to a probable cause statement, in the video, Newell is first seen throwing blankets on top of the twin girls while they were crying. After a moment, the probable cause statement said Newell picked up one of the twin girls, shook her and then placed her in a rocker/bassinet. When the baby continued to cry, Newell shook the rocker/bassinet “aggressively.”
Newell then, according to the probable cause statement, picked the baby up from the rocker. When the baby calmed down, Newell placed her on the floor next to her sister. The baby began to cry again, and the probable cause statement said Newell kicked the baby in the rib/leg area several times, finally picking the baby up and aggressively sitting her on the couch, “causing her head to bounce forward.”
The probable cause statement said Newell also kicked the second baby several times as the baby laid on the floor, before picking the second baby up and placing the baby on her lap.
Video footage allegedly also showed Newell hitting the first baby on the baby’s legs, and covering the noses and mouths of both of the babies with her hand.
Police obtained a statement from Newell, who said she was the person in the video, and that she was “frustrated” and “did not know what to do,” and that she did not remember doing the things in the video.
According to the probable cause statement, Newell told police she “felt bad and embarrassed.”
Newell turned herself into police after a warrant was issued for her arrest.
Sgt. J.C. Holt of the West Jordan Police Department told KSTU the children were not seriously hurt and were checked out at Primary Children's Hospital before being medically cleared.