BRATTLEBORO -- A former local daycare owner has been sentenced to five years of probation stemming from an incident where she gave a child more than the recommended dose of cough medicine without the parent’s permission.
Forty-one-year-old Angela J. Johnson, of Brattleboro, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor simple assault on Aug. 24.
According to court documents, if Johnson completes her probation sentence without committing any other criminal activity the charge will be expunged from her record. However, if she violates any of the conditions of her probation she faces up to a year behind bars.
Investigation into Johnson began in March 2011, after police learned a child had "overdosed" on cough medicine and was taken to the emergency room at the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.
In a sworn statement from the victim’s mother, she wrote that on March 17, 2011, she dropped her two children off at Johnson’s home shortly after 12:30 p.m., and there were no signs of anything wrong with either of them.
When she arrived five hours later to pick them up one was shaking and his eyes were darting back and fourth.
The mother asked Johnson what was wrong and she responded, "I don’t know, he’s been complaining he was dizzy since 2," the mother wrote.
She stated that Johnson never contacted her to let her know the child was sick, feeling dizzy or that she had given him any medicine.
The child died that day and medical examiners reported the death as undetermined because it was sleeping in a bed, had a cold and had sudaphederin in its system. The mother stated she didn’t give it any medication or authorize Johnson to do so.
During the investigation it was revealed that before each parent signed up a child, it was agreed upon that it was their responsibility, not Johnson’s, to provide any medicines "such as Tylenol and cold medicines, to include cough medicine," wrote Brattleboro Det. Lt. Michael Carrier.
While at the hospital that day, Johnson told the mother at the time she was giving her child a teaspoon of Children’s Delsym another child was crying and that she just wanted to give the child something so it would stop coughing.
Doctors at the emergency room said the dosage Johnson gave the child was twice the recommended amount.
Josh Stilts can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311 ext. 273.