Daniel Lee Ryan, 24, agreed to a plea bargain to a lesser charge of child abuse negligently causing death, a Class 3 felony. He was also convicted of child abuse resulting in death. Judge Jeff B. Herron will sentence Ryan on June 13 for to up to 20 years in prison, followed by five years of parole, and restitution of $2,000 to cover funeral expenses for Hailey Rocha, who died on Sept. 11, 2010, at Montrose Memorial Hospital.
Ryan had been babysitting the little girl while her mother worked at a restaurant on South Townsend Ave. Police reports state that he injured the baby, and, when she became non-responsive, he took the child to her mother’s place of work, where efforts to resuscitate the baby failed. She was pronounced dead in the hospital emergency room.
After Ryan’s arrest, Montrose Police Cmdr. Gene Lillard stated that officers were called to the restaurant for a report of an infant not breathing, but had not been called to the home where she was in Ryan’s care. When officers arrived at the restaurant, a citizen EMT was administering CPR, Lillard said, but the child did not regain consciousness.
“It sounds like the suspect transported the baby to the restaurant where the mother was working instead of going to the hospital,” Lillard said at the time.
A subsequent autopsy report by Dr. Thomas Canfield, Montrose County Coroner, stated that the little girl died “as a direct result of multiple traumatic injuries…The cause of death was blunt force trauma.”
Hailey’s mother, Pamela Barnes, could not be reached for comment on Ryan’s conviction on the lesser charge. A co-worker at the Taco Bell where Barnes worked said she was on “extended leave” and employees have not spoken with her since September.