As a lawyer who frequently sees children injured in a day care setting, I am frustrated by how many of the situations that give rise to a child’s injury get brushed away and forgotten because their is inadequate evidence to support a criminal charge against the caregiver.
In this sense, I was actually glad to see prosecutors exercising some muscle when it came to criminally charging a daycare owner where an infant recently died under her care from traumatic injuries. Despite conflicting stories, the daycare owner, Christina Suzanne Lyons, will be charged with injury to a child and capital murder.
The charges stem from a November incident that left a 10-week-old boy with traumatic injuries to his head and ribs. Despite extensive medical treatments, the little boy died soon after the incident.
The incident itself is at issue with differing versions of how the injuries occurred. According to Ms. Lyon’s original police statement, the boy sustained injuries when she left him unattended on a couch when she went to smoke a cigarette and use the toilet. Ms. Lyon’s alleges that the boy may have sustained his injuries when her four-year-old daughter attended to him.
Ms. Lyon’s explanation seemed unlikely to the grand jury that handed down her indictment. An affidavit from first responders claims that the the boy was unresponsive and required assisted breathing when police arrived. A police report noted that the infant sustained “multiple bilateral posterior rib fractures” and required surgery due to “severe head trauma”. Further, a police officer said that the severity of the boys injuries were unlikely inflicted by a child.
Ms. Lyons remains in police custody as she awaits her trial. Read more about this day care tragedy here.
As demonstrated by this situation, a timely investigation into an incident at a daycare facility can frequently provide parents with valuable information as to how their child was injured. Particularly, in light of the fact that a daycare employee may attempt to hide what actually happened, I always suggest parents contact their local police department as soon as feasible so a fair and unbiased assessment of the circumstances can be conducted.