Day-care owner pleads not guilty to child neglect charges

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A former Carson City day-care owner pleaded not guilty to child neglect charges Thursday in Carson City District Court.

Norma Childers entered the plea before former Nevada Chief Justice Miriam Shearing, who is handling the case after District Judge Michael Griffin recused himself.

The trial, expected to take seven days, will be set once Shearing checks her schedule.

Childers is charged with five counts of child abuse, neglect or endangerment stemming from allegations she placed tape over the mouths of three children and locked others in a utility closet in her care at Sugar N Spice Day Care.

The center was closed April 14 by the health department because Childers allegedly misrepresented information on the application for a license.

The criminal complaint alleges Childers taped shut the mouths of a 3-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy before they were put down for a nap on Aug. 19, 2004.

The allegations came about after an employee at the facility reported the incident to the Carson City Health Department.

The employee, who said she'd worked at the center since July 2004, reportedly told investigators she witnessed Childers place purple tape over the children's mouths when Childers became upset over noise they were making.

- Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.


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