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Caregiver Found Guilty In Toddler Death Trial

By: Abby Barnett Email
By: Abby Barnett Email

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A Sedgwick County jury has found a Wichita day care operator guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a child. The verdict in Jessica Cummings' trial was announced late this afternoon.

Closing statements wrapped up Wednesday morning in the case of a 13-month-old toddler who died under a local caregiver's watch. The jury will now decide whether Jessica Cummings is guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors argue Cummings neglected Kailee Hundley when she placed the toddler in a car seat to take a nap. Cummings said she checked on the toddler a couple hours later, and found Hundley limped over in the carrier.

Medical examiners testified Hundley suffocated after she was strapped in a car seat that was too small.
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Tuesday was an emotional day in court as witnesses began giving testimony in the death of 13-month-old Kailee Hundley.

First to take the stand was Diane Hundley, Kailee's grandmother. She tearfully recollected waking Kailee for the final time last March.

"I hugged her... Held her... She smiled," Hundley said.

Later that day, Kailee died of asphyxiation. Medical examiners say she was in a car seat which was too small, and she was not buckled in properly.

"She placed her in the car seat and put her in the bathroom at 10:00 a.m.," said prosecuting attorney, Chris Randle. "At 12:30 p.m.... Two and a half hours later... Was the first time anyone had checked on her," he said.

Cummings told police on the day of the incident the reason she didn't check on Kailee was because she didn't want to wake her up.

The state argues Cummings was negligent in her care of Hundly, and is guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

The defense remains steadfast in their plea of not guilty. They say she was in no way negligent in caring for the baby.

Testimony resumed first thing Wednesday morning. Closing arguments could be held later in the day.


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