Wcco News reported that a mother and her daughter were convicted on charges of manslaughter Wednesday after a child died at their in-home day care in Bloomington, Minn., in August 2008.
The child, 22-month-old Demar Hicks, started choking when the seat belt straps of his car seat wrapped around his neck after he was placed in a playpen. Demar was treated at Children's Hospital but died two days later.
The Dakota County attorney's office revealed in a statement to The Star Tribune that the child died from "being deprived of oxygen for an extended period of time."
Police were uncertain in the month following the toddler's death if any charges would be filed against the day-care providers. The case was turned over to the Hennepin County Attorney that prosecuted Doris D. Meeks, 48, and Harmony S. Newman, 21.
Demar's parents are still struggling with the loss of their child.
"He was my baby," said Alexia Coleman, Demar's mom. "He was my life."
Meeks and Newman were found guilty of second-degree manslaughter and child neglect and endangerment.
You simply can't leave a child of that young of an age unattended in this manner," Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said.
Court reports showed that Meeks violated her daycare license that required both providers to be present to look after the 14 children. Meeks had left Mama D's Day Care when Hicks died.
Both Meeks and Newman have been taken into custody and will be sentenced Dec. 21 at 1:30 p.m.