A woman broke down in court as she re-enacted how she says she tried to save a choking baby but instead, accidentally broke his neck.
The 46-year-old babysitter, Michelle Heale, is accused of murdering a 14-month-old boy named Mason Hess.
She said in court, “I hit him hard on the back, four or five times.”
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In a scene of heart-pounding drama at her trial in New Jersey, she demonstrated on a doll what she says happened when she says she realized Mason was choking on some applesauce.
She said, “The applesauce came out. I felt it on my shoulder. I felt it on my shirt.”
But she says moments later, little Mason's body went limp.
“As I put him back down his head, it snapped back and fast. And when his head snapped back, he went, I believe they said like a rag doll. He went completely limp,” she emotionally told the court.
Mason died four days later but prosecutors say the boy's death was no accident and that his injuries were actually caused by his babysitter shaking him.
The two families were once close. Little Mason's dad worked with the babysitter's husband in the same office.
Michelle Heale's brother-in-law, Darryl, says she would never have knowingly harmed the baby.
He told INSIDE EDITION, "No doubt, she didn't do anything to harm that child. In fact, I think she did everything she could in that moment to save that child."
The tragedy is a reminder to all of us there’s a right way and a wrong way to save a baby from choking.
He said, “I'm going to make an ‘L’ with our hand and put that under the jaw top support the head neck and spinal column."
Turn the baby so his head is lower than the rest of the body, then use the bottom of your hand to deliver five sharp blows between the shoulder blades.
"The object may have already been dislodged. Turn the baby over keeping the head lower than the body and we'll administer five chest thrusts 1-2-3-4-5,” Carruthers said.
Keep repeating the blows to the back and chest thrusts until help arrives. Important information that might have saved this baby's life.