TIPTON COUNTY — “There were poor decisions made,” said Tipton Circuit Court Judge Thomas Lett as he handed down a sentence to former daycare provider Jessica Moss.
The judge sentenced Moss to one year home detention after she pleaded guilty to one count of Reckless Supervision.
As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed a more serious neglect charge that could have meant Moss would spend 20 to 50 years in prison.
“If Miss Moss had intentionally sought out to harm or endanger Connor, the state would be seeking a much harsher penalty, but that's not what happened in this case,” said Tipton County prosecutor Jay Rich. “She did not act with malice."
2-month-old Connor Collins died May 26, 2017 after he was found not breathing at Moss’ unlicensed daycare in Tipton County.
Prosecutors say Moss placed Connor in his crib face down, which is not safe for a newborn.
The state said Moss was operating illegally, caring for 11 children without a license.
The judge offered Moss an opportunity to make a statement in court, but she declined.
Her attorney spoke on her behalf.
“She clearly has remorse about this situation,” said her attorney Robert Alden. “It’s a tragedy for everyone. She’s depressed about it.”
WRTV Investigates waited for Moss after the judge sentenced her to one year home detention, but she walked away without saying anything.
Connor’s father and grandmother say they waited more than six years to hear Moss apologize, but didn’t get that.
“She should have acknowledged that we are still here,” said Nancy Collins, Connor’s grandmother. “We don't have Connor anymore. She would have acknowledged that it would have meant a lot.”
“I think when you're remorseful you verbalize it and let people know other than have other people say it for you,” said Brandon Collins, Connor’s father.
Nancy Collins said home detention isn’t enough.
"The last memory I have of my grandson is holding him at a funeral home and singing twinkle twinkle little star,” said Nancy Collins. “It's hard. Maybe we did expect too much as far as the sentence, but when you've seen her out living her life. It's not fair."
The judge ordered Moss to pay $3,534 in restitution to Connor’s mother and father.
State licensing, the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), issued a cease and desist letter to Moss and her unlicensed child care back in 2017.
Records show she closed in 2018.
Brandon and Nancy Collins also wants to raise awareness about safe sleep, something licensed childcare providers are required to get training on.
“Check your babysitters. Check them inside and out,” said Nancy Collins. “Make sure they’re licensed, make sure they’re know what they’re doing.”
Babies should be placed on their backs in a crib with no bumpers, blankets or stuffed animals.
“I want awareness to be brought for proper sleeping position for babies,” said Collins. “Connor never should have been laid down like that, and she knew that. "