ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A former Orlando day care worker was sentenced to 10 years of supervised probation in the death of a 3-year-old boy Wednesday.
Deborah St. Charles nervously rubbed a handkerchief in court as the judge came down with her decision.
St. Charles worked at the Little Miracles Academy in 2017, was charged in the death of Myles Hill, who was left alone in a hot van for 12 hours outside the facility.
St. Charles originally accepted a plea deal in October, entering a no-contest plea to manslaughter by culpable negligence. The judge came to her decision after St. Charles’ lawyer argued to depart from her plea and to recognize others who may be at fault.
“She is the only one who stepped up and took responsibility,” her attorney said.
Her lawyer proceeded to draw witnesses to the stand to outline how Little Miracles Academy failed to comply to a number of standard day care protocols.
Witnesses with the Department of Children and Families explained the day care did not keep necessary drivers logs of children who board the day care vans and note when the children were dropped off in one of the day care’s two locations.
The day care also failed to have a second person sweep the vans to double-check that all children were inside the building, according to DCF. Witnesses noted Myles Hills was also clearly marked present for class saying such oversights could have detrimental -- and in this case deadly -- effects. According to St. Charles lawyer, she was the only one facing charges in the death of Myles.
The toddler’s family was present in court and explained how his loss has had a devastating impact on the family.
“Myles death changed my life,” Frank Bailey, Myles grandfather and father-figure said.
“I’m not here to judge. The only thing I got to say if they give Ms. Charles a million years in prison, it don’t mean nothing to me. It don’t give me nothing, all I want to see is that door to open and Myles to walk to me,” Bailey said through tears.
St. Charles was the final person to take to the stand and apologized to the family.
“I would never, not me,” she said through tears. “I’m so sorry.”
The judge adjudicated St. Charles guilty on the charge of manslaughter by culpable negligence, she was sentenced to 10 years supervised probation with no other added restrictions.
After court, Myles' aunt Chiquerria Banks reacted to the judge's decision.
“We got the full story of what really happened. That’s a little bit of closure to the whole situation,” Banks said. “It’s very frustrating.”