Tacoma babysitter pleads not guilty to shaking baby to death

Tacoma babysitter pleads not guilty to shaking baby to death »Play Video
Jamie Thompson appears in Pierce County Superior Court on April 30, 2014.

TACOMA, Wash. -- There was an emotional outburst after a Tacoma mother pleaded not guilty to shaking to death a baby in her care. Jamie Thompson had been a longtime friend of little Jayceon Thomas' father and was babysitting the 8-month-old.

Iven Thomas, Jayceon's dad, lashed out in the courthouse hallway against supporters of the woman suspected of killing his child -- two groups that had been friends now divided by the death of the 8-month-old baby. 

"He was like an angel because he always smiled," said Thomas. "He never stopped smiling."

But the smiling stopped April 11 when Jayceon stopped breathing. "To sit there and see this precious beautiful baby that's helpless," said Thomas. "What was his last minute like? Was he thinking about me wishing I was there and I wasn't there?"

Jayceon died at the hospital. On Wednesday, Jayceon's babysitter, Jamie Thompson, was charged with his murder. She had been caring for the child along with her other six kids at her home. Investigators say she shook Jayceon so violently that it caused his eventual death.

Thompson had been a longtime friend of Thomas and often babysat his other children through the years.

"And of course I feel that it's my fault because I'm the one that brought him there," said Thomas.

Thomas and Jayceon's mother Vanessa Henderson were in court to watch Thompson enter her not guilty plea. Prosecutors say Thompson has eight prior felony convictions as an adult, the most recent for Custodial Assault, as well as 11 misdemeanor convictions for crimes including assault, public fighting, and theft.

Thompson's friends showed up in force at court and don't believe she could have done this. She's being held on $1 million bail.