CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Kanawha County babysitter faces prison time after pleading guilty to charges connected to the July 2023 death of a two-year-old boy.

Brittany Napier, 31, of Dunbar, appeared in Kanawha County Circuit Court Monday where she pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and child neglect resulting in death. She faces 1-5 years in prison.

The child, Za’khi Williams, was found unresponsive at Napier’s home on Parkway Drive in Dunbar on July 11, 2023.

Family and friends of Za’khi Williams show support at Monday’s plea hearing. Carrie Hodousek/MetroNews

Napier told Kanawha County Circuit Judge Kenneth Ballard it was an “accidental death” and that she made a “horrible decision” when she placed a queen size mattress on top of the boy’s Pack ‘n Play while he was in it.

“I put a mattress on top of a playpen and he got stuck between it causing him to suffocate,” she said.

Family and friends of the boy’s mother packed the courtroom Monday morning wearing custom made T-shirts with Williams’ face on it that read “Justice for Za’khi” with a 15+ symbol indicating their hope for a sentence of more than 15 years in prison. The boy’s great-grandmother Joyce Cheeks said 1-5 years is not enough.

“I was hoping that there would be more than 15 years,” Cheeks. “We were just pushing for more.”

Patricia Gay, a friend of the family, agreed and said the punishment should be more severe.

“It’s not enough for a baby’s life who was innocent and happy and living his best life. It’s not enough,” Gay said.

Williams had just turned two years old. His mother had just hired a babysitter so she could go out for the evening. Gay said her baby didn’t have to die just because she wasn’t there.

“His mom hired a babysitter that she thought was a good babysitter and now her baby is dead,” she said, adding Williams death was not accidental like Napier claimed.

“She had someone carry that mattress and put it on a Pack ‘n Play. That baby was trying to push his way up to get out of it and it ended up on his neck and he could no longer breath,” Gay said.

Napier was previously indicted on charges last year and was scheduled to go on trial at the beginning of this year before she reached the latest plea deal with prosecutors.

Napier will be sentenced on April 1 at 9 a.m.