A Macon mother was sentenced to 10 years on probation Monday after she pleaded guilty to waiting days before seeking medical attention for her 4-week-old infant last year.
Heather Gawlick, 22, of Desoto Place pleaded guilty to first-degree child cruelty and second-degree child cruelty in Bibb County Superior Court. She was indicted in April on three counts of first-degree child cruelty and one count of second-degree child cruelty.
The child’s grandmother noticed bruising on the baby’s face and dried blood on her ear while she was visiting July 11, 2009. That night, Gawlick called “Ask a Nurse” to ask a question about medication, prosecutor Dorothy Hull said.
At the grandmother’s request, Gawlick also asked questions about the baby’s injuries, and she was advised to take the infant to the hospital, Hull said.
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The hospital, in turn, called police and the Department of Family and Children Services after doctors discovered the injuries appeared older than Gawlick had described.
She had initially said she noticed the injuries after the baby was with a baby sitter, Hull said.
She later admitted that she had dropped the baby while playing with her days earlier, Hull said.
The baby also sustained a leg fracture, according to court records.
Gawlick apologized during the court hearing.
“I’m a first-time mother,” she said. “I never would intentionally hurt my child.”
Besides probation, Gawlick was sentenced to between 200 and 365 days in a probation detention center, and she must complete 200 hours of community service. She can’t have contact with minor children until she completes Department of Family and Children Services parenting classes.
She also cannot have contact with her daughter until DFACS approves it. Gawlick can’t obtain primary custody of the child unless she receives approval from Bibb County Superior Court.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.