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Daycare Operator Found Guilty of Child’s Death

Grafton Superior County Court jurors found a 56-year old Enfield day care operator guilty Friday on three misdemeanor charges stemming from the death of a 4-year-old girl who choked while under the woman’s supervision. Willa Shine Clark died in March of last year – just two days after she was found hanging by her parka while playing outside with three other children.

Clark and the children were under the care of Mary Ellen Burritt, who had operated a daycare out of her Lockehaven Road home. The daycare was later found to be unlicensed – leading to two misdemeanor convictions – with the third coming on a charge of reckless conduct.

Burritt’s attorneys argued that charge by saying the children were always within earshot, but jurors believed the prosecution’s case that she endangered the children by leaving them unattended in the back yard.

Burritt will be sentenced at a later date, with each charge carrying penalties of possible jail time and fines of up to $2,000.

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