New York baby sitter pleads guilty to manslaughter in death of 3-month-old girl

Samantha Klein

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — A Niagara Falls woman admitted she caused the severe injuries that led to the death of a 3 1/2-month-old baby in her care.

Samantha Klein, 31, pleaded guilty in Niagara County Court Tuesday, Oct. 15 to first-degree manslaughter. She was originally charged with second-degree murder and three counts of manslaughter.

Klein was watching Alaya Foster in a home on North Avenue in Niagara Falls in February when she took her to the hospital with a bleeding brain, a fractured skull, and damage to her spinal cord.

Prosecutors said Klein admitted she caused the injuries by shaking the baby causing blunt force trauma.

Three weeks after the baby’s death, Klein proclaimed her innocence.

“I’m innocent,” said Klein at the time. “I did nothing to that baby.”

Klein also said the baby had a bruise on her face when she was dropped off to be watched on Feb. 21, two days before she was taken to the hospital.

The baby’s family repeatedly insisted Klein was responsible for Foster’s death and called for quick action by police to file charges.

More than five months after Foster died, Klein was arraigned in Niagara County Court.

In addition to pleading guilty Tuesday to manslaughter, Klein also admitted she sold fentanyl to a law enforcement officer in June 2018 and was behind a knife-point robbery in Niagra Falls on Christmas Eve 2018, according to the Niagara Gazette.

Klein faces up to 25 years in prison for all three crimes when she is sentenced on Dec. 3.

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