Mother Sentenced to 35 Years for Fatally Beating Infant Daughter

An Illinois woman, aged 30, has been sentenced to 35 years in prison after confessing to the fatal beating of her 8-month-old daughter, Cherish Freeman, who wouldn’t stop crying. The sentencing was handed down by Judge Daniel Rippy of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court on Friday. Shanquilla Garvey, the mother, will serve her sentence in a state correctional facility, as announced by the authorities.

Garvey had earlier pleaded guilty to a single count of first-degree murder for the death of her infant daughter, who succumbed to severe injuries on Christmas Eve in 2017. Alongside her prison sentence, which she must serve in its entirety without the possibility of early parole, Garvey is also mandated to undergo three years of supervised release.

While the sentence was welcomed by the prosecution, they expressed regret that no form of punishment could restore the life that the victim deserved. Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow, in a statement after the sentencing, described the act of a mother killing her own child as unfathomable. He lamented that the last moments of Cherish’s life were filled with trauma and suffering, a reality that no prison sentence could ever rectify.

According to a press release from the state attorney’s office, Garvey had called 911 from the Bel-Air Motel on Plainfield Road in Joliet on December 20, 2017, reporting her daughter as unresponsive. At that time, Garvey and her two other children were temporarily residing at the motel.

Upon their arrival, first responders found Cherish and immediately transported her to Ascension Saint Joseph Hospital in Joliet. Given the critical condition of the infant, she was airlifted to Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, approximately 10 miles northeast.

Medical staff at the children’s hospital discovered that Cherish had sustained two separate skull fractures, was bleeding from her brain, and had a lacerated liver. Despite being admitted to the intensive care unit, Cherish could not survive her injuries and was declared dead four days later.

The prosecution stated that Garvey’s escalating frustration with her daughter’s incessant crying led her to react violently. Garvey reportedly threw Cherish into a dresser, shook her, and then threw her onto the motel room floor. When Cherish became unresponsive, Garvey dialed 911. Garvey, who has been in custody since her initial arrest, was credited with 2,377 days of time already served, equivalent to roughly 6 1/2 years.