By Mark F. Gray, Staff Writer, [email protected]
A 73-year-old, former live-in nanny, who was convicted of murder in the death of an eight-month-old infant child in 2016, was sentenced to 40 years in prison with 25 years suspended last week in Prince George’s County. Oluremi Adeleye was found guilty of child abuse and second-degree murder following the October 2016 death of Enita Salubi at her home in Glenarden, according to multiple reports.
In a story first reported by the Washington Post nearly three years ago, Salubi died after she was force fed 20 ounces of milk by Adeleye in 30 seconds when the nanny was awakened by the infant which was caught on video. The defense team chose not to have a jury hear the case, but instead allowed Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Karen H. Mason hear the case and administer the verdict and sentence.
Mason, when announcing the sentence, said that since Adeleye lied to detectives at the beginning of the investigation by claiming she didn’t unscrew the bottle’s top before feeding the baby proved there was a “consciousness of guilt” from from the defendant.
“You have two loving, caring parents who did everything right. They interviewed the sitter, they got references and they did their homework and research by all accounts,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy told the court, according to the Associated Press. “But she abused this young child and the reason we were able to prove it is because the parents had the foresight to install a camera.”
During the trial, the “nanny cam” security footage showed how the child was seen in a walker waking Adeleye from her position on a couch while she was taking a nap. Adeleye then attempts to give the child a bottle of milk before removing the top and pouring nearly eight ounces of fluid into the child’s mouth in less than 30 seconds. Police reportedly also said the footage showed the baby girl appearing to “squirm and aggressively resist” while Adeleye continues to pour the milk into her mouth, The Post reported in 2016. Salubi falls to the ground, the footage shows, and Adeleye then picks up the baby girl and attempts to pour more liquid into her mouth from a second bottle.
“I did what I needed to do to make sure the baby had food in the stomach,” Adeleye reportedly testified through an interpreter during the trial.
Prosecutors alleged, and ultimately were able to prove beyond reasonable doubt, to Judge Mason that Adeleye was trying to stop the baby’s cries by force-feeding her. Adeleye’s defense team argued that she wasn’t trying to harm the child and claimed the practice of forcing children to eat to make sure they don’t go hungry is customary in her native Nigeria.
“All she wanted to do was feed the child,” argued Adeleye’s defense attorney Douglass Wood. “She wanted to make sure the baby was healthy and the baby was well fed.”
The footage also captured how showed Adeleye picked up Enita after she fell to the floor and tried to give her another bottle. But that’s apparently that’s when the child baby went limp and could not be resuscitated. After the baby became unresponsive, Adeleye called her father, who dialed 911 as he frantically tried to get home. A neighbor reportedly witnessed the father desperately leaving the house in a last ditch effort to try and save her life although it didn’t work out.
“You left home with a live baby and came home with a dead baby,” her father Influence Salubi testified during the case. “It’s not something I can ever forget.”