Three months after being arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, former at-home daycare workers Mary Parette, Cynthia Duman and Jennifer Parette appeared in Lee County District Court on Tuesday.
Back in June, the three were arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child after Sydney Zimmerman discovered her 22-month-old son, Slade, strapped in a carseat in what was described as a “warm closet.”
Mary Parette testified that Slade was trying to take a nap, but was unable to due to the environment of the room he was in. She said she placed the child in the carseat, buckled him up for his safety and placed him in the closet. Parette said she put Slade in the closet because it was a quiet place, away from the other kids for him to take a nap. Parette said the child napped for about an hour. She added she cared deeply for Slade and had no intentions to harm him.
Parette also told the court that since the incident, they have stopped taking care of children at the home.
Cynthia Duman and Jennifer Parette were acquitted, but Mary Parette was found guilty of endangering the welfare of a child and fined $100.
The state argued for 30 days of jail time, but Judge Russell Bush suspended it due to her clean record. She was ordered to not keep any children in her care to whom she is not related by blood or marriage.
The child’s mother Sydney Zimmerman said she will not stop after Tuesday’s ruling.
“You’re not going to get by with $100 on a fact that my child could have possibly died where you put him,” Zimmerman said. “His life is equivalent to being priceless and way more than just paying $100 and then asking me if I’m satisfied because no, I’m not.”