Two employees of Katie's Kids Daycare Center in Delray Beach were sentenced to ten years' probation yesterday for leaving a 2-year-old girl to die in a hot van outside the daycare for seven hours.
Amanda Inman, 32, and Petra Perez, 45, both pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter of a child -- which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison -- for the August 2010 incident, in which the girl died of systemic hyperthermia.
Inman, who was the driver of the van, told the cops at the time that she'd usually "try" to look for kids she left in the van but apparently didn't "try" on this occasion.
According to an arrest affidavit, Inman said she had picked up the 2-year-old girl -- along with her two siblings and 11 other kids -- and driven them to the daycare center.
She took 13 of the 14 kids inside around 9 a.m. on August 5, 2010, and at some point moved the van again and smoked a cigarette while the 2-year-old girl was still inside.
Around 4:15 p.m. that day, Inman went to transport another group of kids when one of the youngsters told her there was a girl "slobbering on the seat" in the back row of the van.
They called 911, but the girl was pronounced dead at the scene minutes later.
Naturally, the cops asked Inman if she'd actually checked the van to make sure she hadn't left any kids in it that morning.
"Well, this morning I didn't," Inman told police. "Usually, I go try... I'll look back... I don't go row by row."
Perez, the daycare director, was also charged after police discovered she had signed off on two attendance sheets that showed the 2-year-old girl was inside the daycare center and had also been served lunch.
She had never checked to make sure all the kids were off the van, and the Florida Administrative Code says the logs for a transport vehicle at a daycare have to be signed off by two employees, saying that they conducted a physical inspection to make sure no kids are left in a vehicle.
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As part of their ten-year probation deal, both women are banned from working or volunteering at any school, daycare, park, playground, or any other place where children congregate, and they also have to perform 200 hours community service work and make four speaking presentations per year.