CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Kanawha County mother says her whole family got “ripped apart” after the death of her two-year-old son. The boy’s babysitter is now heading to prison.

Brittany Napier

“I trusted somebody with his life, and I will forever regret that decision,” Caleigh Cheeks testified during a Monday sentencing hearing in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

Brittany Napier, 32, of Dunbar, was sentenced to the maximum prison time of one year for involuntary manslaughter and 1-5 years for child neglect resulting in death.

Napier pleaded guilty to the charges in February where she admitted to placing a queen size mattress on top of the boy’s Pack ‘n Play while he was in it. The child, Za’khi Williams, was found unresponsive at Napier’s home on Parkway Drive in Dunbar on July 11, 2023.

Napier told the judge Monday she made a horrible decision and that Williams’ death was an accident.

“I’m truly so sorry to the family and everybody who loves Za’khi so dearly. I had no intention of causing harm to sweet baby Za’khi. If I could trade places, I would in a heartbeat,” she said.

Za’khi Williams’ mother Caleigh Cheeks addressed the court Monday. Carrie Hodousek/MetroNews

Judge Ballard called it a “tragic case” and that there’s no excuse for what happened. He told Napier he had no choice but to hand down the maximum sentence for her actions.

“Your egregious act caused an innocent child who was in your care to die, and I don’t think there’s any way to repair that,” Ballard said.

Cheeks said the maximum time behind bars is still not enough to take away the pain of losing her son.

“My son is gone forever. No matter how many years you do will not make up for that, but I don’t think it’s fair to walk after a year when my son will never breathe and walk on this Earth again,” she said.

Napier’s sentences will be served consecutively, and she will get credit for time served. The judge also ordered 50 years supervision and prohibited Napier from contacting her children.