Former daycare operator found guilty of child abuse

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Samantha Dillbeck, a former operator of an in-home daycare, was found guilty of felony abuse or neglect of a child resulting in serious injury Tuesday afternoon.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for July 16.

Dillbeck was accused of shaking then 8-month-old Grayson Barnhart in March of 2017.

Grayson suffered several internal injuries to his head and eyes during his time with Dillbeck. However, Dillbeck denies ever shaking the child and says he fell.

During her trial in early April, doctors called by the state say the injuries could only be caused by shaking, but doctors called by the defense say that isn’t necessarily true. Dillbeck says Grayson had prior medical conditions and claims he fell backward multiple times that day from a seated position, one time hitting his head particularly hard. The prosecution questions Dillbeck’s story and the validity of the defense doctor’s opinion.

Dillbeck ran the daycare in the home of Sara Young. The daycare was known as M&M Daycare; court documents say it was also known as Gingerbread Express Daycare Center.

The parents of Barnhart filed a lawsuit in 2018 against Dillbeck, claiming she was negligent in allowing their son to be injured while he was in Dillbeck’s care.

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