LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A Lancaster woman has been found guilty of causing permanent, debilitating injuries to her young daughter when she left the girl alone in a bathtub to smoke marijuana.
A jury this week convicted 32-year-old Jaquia Morales of felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor endangering. She will be sentenced after a background investigation is completed in a couple of months.
Authorities say Morales in 2008 left her 2-year-old daughter in the tub with running water. The girl inhaled water into her lungs, went unresponsive, and sustained a traumatic brain injury.
Morales was charged last year after she wrote a letter to explain “what really happened” to her daughter
“First, I’m truly sorry my love bug, I was giving you a bath that day and filled the tub, I left the water running, I put you in the tub,” she wrote. “I went and stupidly smoked weed.”
When Morales was interviewed after the incident, she told police her daughter was sleeping then began breathing hard and wouldn’t wake up. A chest x-ray showed the girl had water in her lungs.
The girl and her brother were placed with a foster mother, who found the letter to the girl when the boy returned from a visit with Morales.
Authorities said the girl, now 13 and living with her adopted family, suffers from adult respiratory distress syndrome. She cannot walk on her own or speak, and her vision is severely impaired.