Ulster County mother, charged in daughter’s bathtub drowning, pleads guilty

In Ulster County Court today 26-year-old Kayla Pagan pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide for the drowning death of her 10-month-old daughter, in a bathtub at their home in Marlboro.

She was indicted last August by an Ulster County Grand Jury for one count of criminally negligent homicide, a class E felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

According to Ulster County DA Holley Carnright, the drowning death occurred in the evening of July 8, 2016, when Pagan left her daughter for several minutes in a plugged bathtub filling with water while she attended to other minor matters and interests inside and outside of the house. The child’s father, Richard Ryerson, returned home from work to find his daughter floating face down in a bathtub full of water. Mr. Ryerson removed the child from the tub, started CPR, and called 911. CPR performed by the father and a neighbor with instructions from the 911 operator did not save the child’s life. She was rushed by Mobile Life Support Services to St. Luke’s Hospital in Newburgh where she was pronounced dead.


Kayla Pagan remains in Ulster County Jail pending her sentencing in Ulster County Court on May 11, 2017.

The case was prosecuted by Ulster County Assistant District Attorney Emmanuel Nneji. The defendant was represented by the Ulster County Public Defender’s Office.