Saskatoon mom pleads guilty in toddler's death

A Saskatoon woman has pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death, after her 17-month-old daughter was neglected until the toddler died.

A Saskatoon woman has pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing the death of her 17-month-old daughter.

Charissima McDonald, 29, entered the plea Monday at the Court of Queen's Bench.

McDonald admitted that she neglected her daughter, Shatoya Chatelaine, until the girl died in December 2006.

Gayle Warkentin, who cared for Shatoya until the girl was returned to McDonald in May 2006, came to the Saskatoon courthouse on Monday to hear the case.

"Shatoya must have suffered," Warkentin told CBC News outside the courthouse. "It absolutely breaks my heart."

Untreated infection

Court heard that Shatoya had died of complications from impetigo, a common skin infection, which had gone untreated, "for a prolonged period of time."

"Her mom said she died in her sleep," Warkentin said. "I right away thought she was too old for crib death."

Warkentin said as she deals with knowing the facts of Shatoya's death, she focuses on remembering the little girl she loved.

"I still wouldn't have traded loving that little girl for anything. She was so beautiful," she said.

A second charge against McDonald, failure to provide the necessities of life, has been stayed.

The case has been adjourned until February for a pre-sentencing report. The defence is requesting a sentencing circle for McDonald.