A 31-year-old woman was sentenced to 40 years in prison by a Pierce County Superior Court judge on Friday after being convicted by a jury of first-degree assault for putting bleach in her young child’s eyes.
The girl, who was 14 months old when her injuries were noted, suffered permanent loss of vision in her right eye, according to prosecutors.
Jennifer Mothershead, of Buckley, Pierce County, was arrested two years ago after her daughter was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center with a head injury, according to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office.
Hospital staff noticed that the child’s previously diagnosed eye condition — which required the administration of eyedrops — had worsened to the point that the girl could hardly open her eyes in daylight, prosecutors said.
When the eyedrops that Mothershead had used on her daughter were examined, hospital staff and later police investigators detected a foul odor, prosecutors said. The solution also caused minor burns on a detective’s exposed wrists, according to court documents.
Analysis at the Food and Drug Administration’s Forensic Chemistry Lab showed that the eyedrops contained bleach, and medical staff determined that the child’s injuries were consistent with repeated exposure to bleach, according to Pierce County prosecutors.
According to court documents, Mothershead admitted she had administered the eyedrops and told investigators that her daughter was a “fighter” about getting them.