Daycare worker found guilty of negligent homicide of one-year-old child

Posted at 9:30 AM, Jul 14, 2017
and last updated 2018-08-29 18:00:53-04

A woman was found guilty by a jury on criminally negligent homicide charges in connection with the death of a child. 

Courtney Casanas was found guilty by a jury on Wednesday. Her sentencing is set for Thursday at 9 a.m.

Killeen police were investigating after a one-year-old child was strangled by his safety strap on his car seat. 

Police said they responded to the 5300 block of Sydney Harbour Ct. after receiving a call about a child that was not breathing on May 12. 

The caller told officers that the child she was caring for had fallen asleep in his car seat and had been strangled by his safety strap in the home. Other children were in the home when this happened.

After investigating, officers learned that the caller was running an in-home, unlicensed daycare out of her residence. She said she left the child sleeping in his car seat unattended. Police said when she returned to the child, she found him unconscious and not breathing. 

On Nov. 1, Casanas was arrested after a Bell County Grand Jury indicted her on criminally negligent homicide in connection to Jaxson Partridge-Rees death. 

Jaxson died months after the initial incident on July 8 at McLane Children's Hospital in Temple.

The Department of Family and Protective Services also looked into the case. 

"If you're looking for a home daycare, and if that person is taking care of more than three children that aren't their nieces or grandchildren or anything like that, they should be listed on our website. If they're not listed on our website, then they are an illegal operation."

“If a child falls asleep in a restrictive device... if you see that a child has fallen asleep like in a car seat, then they have to be removed from that seat or removed from that... whatever device they’re in.”

-Tiffani Butler, Media Specialist for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services 

Casanas bonded out of the Bell County Jail on Nov. 4 at 3:45 p.m.

Her bond was $100,000. She is being charged with Criminally Negligent Homicide. 

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