The owner of the Magic Place Children Center in Terre Linda and two of her employees who were arrested in connection with the suffocation death of a 4-month-old boy have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor licensing violations. Claudia Gil, 44, operator and licensee, and caretakers Lorena Huitron-Jimenez, 28, and Sandra Del Socoro Alvarado Mendez, 49, entered the pleas Wednesday in Marin County Superior Court, Huitron-Jimenez’s attorney Joshua Davis said.
The charges include failure to provide medical treatment and failure to provide direct supervision, Davis said. All three defendants were sentenced for time they already served in the Marin County Jail before they were released on bail, Davis said. They also were sentenced to three years’ probation and are prohibited from working as childcare providers without a license. “It’s tragic. It’s the worst thing that happened to her and the boy’s family. She feels terrible about the whole thing,” Davis said.
The boy, Carter Hampp, was found unconscious in a crib on Oct. 23. He was pronounced dead at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Terre Linda. The Marin County coroner’s office determined the infant accidentally suffocated when his external airway was obstructed by bedding.
The women were arrested for involuntary manslaughter, but after reviewing the case, the Marin County District Attorney’s Office charged them with violating childcare licensing requirements in the state’s Health and Safety Code. The state Department of Social Services revoked Magic Place’s license. The terms of a settlement of a wrongful death civil suit filed by the family are confidential, Davis said.
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