Karla Isabelle Ruth "Karly" Sheehan
January 4, 2002   -  June 3, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial

At  1:57 p.m. on June 3, 2005, a call came into the 911 dispatch. A woman who could not talk at first would soon tell the 911 dispatch that her baby was dead, that woman was Sarah Sheehan and that baby was her three year old daughter, Karly. In the trauma center, doctors and nurses did all they could for this precious little Angel, for almost an hour. At 2:41 p.m. that same day, little Karly was pronounced dead.

A timeline would show that when her father, David Sheehan had dropped her off on May, 30th, Karly was okay other than the fact that she was no happy about being left at the home of Shawn Field, where her mother had been staying quite a bit. Shawn Field, who was 35 at the time, would end up on trial for aggravated murder in the death of Karly and would be facing the death penalty if convicted.

In court, Deputy District Attorney Joan Demarest stated that Shawn had hit Karly and then blamed it on her father,
David, so that Sarah could gain full custody of Karly and start receiving money for child support. Joan Demarest
said that Shawn thought he could live off of the child support payments:

"For Shawn Filed, the most important thing is Shawn Field"

Clark Willes, the Defense Attorney immediately went after the credibility of Sarah claiming she had given many
different accounts of where the bruises on Karly's body had come from and that she had even blamed David until
Shawn had been arrested and then she changed her story and began to say it was Shawn. Clark Willes said that
his client was not guilty of what he was accused of doing.

On June 1, Sarah decided to go play golf and that is when Joan Demarest says the beating started for Karly. Sarah went to work the next day and she hung out with some friends and the beating of Karly continued with Shawn using a wooden spoon to hit her. At the scene were two broken spoons and on one end of each was the DNA and fingerprint of Shawn and on the other end was Karly's DNA and her hair. Shawn was said to have taken pictures of Karly's bruises and intended to use them against David by saying that David had inflicted the wounds. What ended up happening was the pictures proved that at 1:21 p.m., when the pictures were taken, Karly did not have any fatal wounds. A picture of Karly was shown in court, she was happy in the picture which was taken about nine months before her mother met Shawn Field:

"This was Karly Sheehan"



Another picture was shown in court, this one of Karly with bruises and eye swollen eye, taken nine months later. A tape of the 911 call was played in court and Sarah could be heard:

"Karla, Karla, Karla, are you here? Karla, you gotta come back, Please, please come back"

Text messages between Sarah and Shawn were shown to the jury and those messages were in total conflict with what Sarah had told police. Sarah had apparently lied to her boss and told him she could not come in for a shift she was due to work because she had to take her daughter to the doctor. At that point, Karly had been beaten and Sarah did not take her to the doctor. Sarah told police that she clocked out at 11 pm and records showed that was a lie, she had clocked out at 7 pm then stayed at the bar to hang out with her friends.

Shawn claims that he was concerned about the bruising on Karly and that he decided to take the pictures out of
concern for Karly. His concern for the child is supposedly what lead him to the the pictures, according to his lawyer:

"I don't know who wouldn't take a child like this to the hospital"

Karly's death brought some other questions. A baby sitter had called DHS the previous year to report that Karly was losing her hair and that she said her daddy had been hitting her. A daycare worker claimed that Karly told her that he dad had been hitting all the time and that he hit her on her head. The worker asked if it was daddy David and Karly supposedly said yes.

Things had always seemed okay with Karly and both of her parents until one day Karly, who usually had long, curly, blonde hair, showed up with a very short haircut to which here mother said that she had braided her hair and in the night it had become matted and she'd had to cut it. Over time, Karly started to lose hair and show up with bald spots on her scalp. Karly would spend hours each day sleeping at day care and wasn't asking for her mother as much, however, she was asking about her daddy all the time and supposedly even told the day care worker that she needed to tell her daddy to stop hitting her.

Site creators note: This sounds to me like someone is feeding this child what to say. Considering this child is less than three years old, the idea that she would tell someone to talk to her daddy and tell him to stop hitting her just seems "out there" to me.

The day care worker called CPS and during the call the worker heard the child asking when her daddy was going
to pick her up. When the worker told Karly that her mommy would be there to pick her up, Karly started to cry and
said that she wanted her daddy. Sarah picked Karly up that night.

The following day, Karly was crying for her daddy again and slept a lot during the day. The worker talked to CPS
again and told them that there was a doctors appointment scheduled for that day and the CPS worker made
plans to meet them there. Karly's doctor since birth had been Shanika DeSoyza:

"She was a great little girl. She had a great personality, mischievous, she liked to crawl
around the exam area and mess with medical supplies"

The doctor noticed that Karly was not acting like herself that day. Karly was clingy and had a bruise on her cheek
as well as loss of hair and discoloration which could have been a bruise. During the visit, the doctor noticed that
Karly was staying very close to her dad:

"When she was not occupying herself, Karly sought the attention and contact of her
father exclusively"

David mentioned to the doctor that he thought someone was pulling out his daughters hair and he didn't think she
was doing it to herself. Sarah blamed Karly's mood on the fact that she and David had just separated and she had moved in with her boyfriend, Shawn Field, though she though the relationship between her daughter and her boyfriend was a good one. When asked if Karly was ever alone with Shawn, Sarah lied and said no. The doctor tried to talk to Karly alone and it didn't work, Karly was upset, crying and asking for her daddy. During a meeting with several agencies dealing with child abuse as well as law enforcement, it was decided that the doctor should try to talk to Karly again, this time in a better setting, the doctor had brought up a concern she had:

"When Karly has talked about her dad hitting her, (the day care worker) wonders if it is her
father or the boyfriend she is talking about"

Karly had told the day care worker that Shawn spanked her at times and that she didn't know who took care of Karly while the mother worked at night. Blood tests came back normal and since that ruled out any medical reason for the hair loss, they now knew that someone was pulling out Karly's hair and they needed to find out who was doing it. David and Sarah came to the decision that Karly would only spend one night at week at the home of Shawn. A criminal records check on Shawn found that he had pushed his first wife and threatened to have someone kill her, though no charges were filed.

An interview with Shawn's daughter was conducted and detectives were told that punishment was being sent to
the corner, though at times they were spanked, she also said she never saw anyone pull Karly's hair. Shawn was told about the visit and when asked if he would answer some questions, he agreed. Shawn was told that Karly said her daddy hit her in her head, back and nose and he said that she had told him her daddy had hit her and had pointed to those exact spots. Shawn claimed that he had seen Karly pull out her own hair and tell herself that she was bad. Shawn said that he sometimes felt Sarah sent Karly to the corner too often, though he did not think she was abusing the child and while he thought David was strict, he didn't feel it was excessive.

The day care worker reported that Karly was doing much better since she had been spending more time with her
father and less with Shawn. However, on December 6, David dropped Karly off and then met with people at the DHS office where he was told he was being investigated for child abuse:

"They flat out told me, that was a very sobering thing to hear"

David was told that Karly had been saying he was hitting her and he said he had no idea why she would be saying that. When asked if he thought Sarah was abusing Karly, David said no and he also said he had no reason to believe that Shawn was abusing karly. David volunteered to take a lie detector test and he was given one, though not until June of 2005. The results left detectives unable to figure out if David had been abusing Karly or not:

"They were on the fence between unfounded and indeterminate. They said "We cannot tell
if you are doing it"

Sarah met with them the next day and told them that David was a great dad and that she doesn't think he was hitting Karly, she also said she didn't think Shawn had been abusing her.

In November of 2006, Shawn Wesley Field was sentenced by Judge Janet Holcomb, to more than 46 years for the torturing and killing Karly:

"In my almost 20 years in criminal justice, this is one of the worst cases of brutality I have ever
seen. Mr. Field, this is a very sober moment for our community. When you dealt the last blow
you dealt a blow to the entire community"

Family members commented after the sentencing:

"I think it sends a strong message to this community that we're not going to tolerate scum bags
like Shawn Fields"
David Sheehan

"None of the evidence that we have been privy to or anything that we have heard in the court
room, can ever convince us that YOU are the one who take a child's life"
Ann Field

Shawn's parents believe him to be innocent.

 



Return To Karly's Story
David Sheehan
Karly's Law

Death occurred in the state of Oregon

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