A woman who owned an in-home day care center in Burbank was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison in connection with the death of an 11-month-old boy who had been left in her care.
Milena Nikodijevic, 52, pleaded no contest May 7 to one count of child endangerment causing death, according to Deputy District Attorney Tamu Usher.
One of her employees, Wendy Roxana Oropeza, 22, pleaded no contest Jan. 13 to an involuntary manslaughter charge. Oropeza was sentenced to a year in county jail, 32 hours of community service and five years on probation. Both women were also barred from working as child care providers.
The two were charged in connection with the death of the 11-month-old boy, who was at Nikodijevic's licensed in-home day care facility, Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars, in the 200 block of Santa Anita Avenue on Feb. 1, 2012. The boy was identified in the criminal complaint as "Adam D."
Oropeza improperly secured the boy in another child's car seat inside the day care facility, according to the District Attorney's Office.
The infant fell asleep in the car seat and was asphyxiated by the chest strap, according to the prosecutor.
Nikodijevic had three times the number of children under the age of 2 in her care than allowed by her license, according to the District Attorney's Office. She had also been previously cited for having too many children under the age of 2 in her care, according to Usher.
Burbank police said the baby was declared dead at St. Joseph's Medical Center after medical staffers tried to revive the infant, who was found in "breathing distress" at the day care facility.
—City News Service