SPRINGFIELD, Mo – Sentencing is set for June 18, 2021, for a daycare worker accused of child endangerment.
Rachel Slawson, 34, entered an Alford plea to two counts of endangerment under a plea agreement with prosecutors in connection with incidents dating back to 2013.
Under an Alford plea, the defendant does not admit to wrongdoing but acknowledges that the prosecution has a strong enough case that they could well get a conviction from a jury.
Under the agreement, charges were reduced from child abuse or neglect, according to a copy of the plea agreement provided by Slawson’s attorney John Zimmerman.
The charges arose from a 2013 incident in which a five-month-old infant who Slawson babysat was admitted to hospital for a skull fracture and a 2016 incident in which an eight-month-old child was having difficulty breathing in her care and was determined to have suffered a skull fracture and internal brain bleed.
Zimmerman said in an email to Ozarks First that Slawson admits that she had too many small children to supervise them safely at her unlicensed home daycare and that that put the kids at significant risk and likely led to the injuries charged in the case.
Because of how the case is charged, alleging that she caused the injuries rather than created the situation in which the kids were hurt, she pled by an Alford plea rather than a straight guilty plea. She deeply regrets running an overcrowded daycare, Zimmerman said.