Daycare Owner To Stand Trial For Murder

Wednesday, July 18th 2007, 6:14 am
By: News On 6

A Tulsa woman accused of murdering a child at a daycare center will be going to trial. Prosecutors say Vicki Chiles killed a 2-year-old boy in her care by suffocating him with masking tape. The News On 6's Heather Lewin reports on Wednesday evidence against Chiles was presented at a preliminary hearing.

A Tulsa Police Detective testified Vicki Chiles admitted she bound and gagged 2-year-old Joshua Minton with tape because he was being disruptive during nap time. He says Chiles told him the boy was quote- "especially whiny" that day, and that she taped his mouth shut and left him in a back bedroom as a "last resort."

"That's really hard to hear," said Joshua's aunt Kathey Mayo. "I don't see this as a last resort for a 2-year-old child; I don't see that as a last resort for anyone. But he's 2, he was just a baby, a last resort to me is calling his parents and sending him home."

Chiles has been held without bond since her May 17, 2007 arrest. Her defense attorney asked the judge to set an amount for her release, because he says there was no intent to murder the boy, who died of suffocation. But under the law if child abuse results in death prosecutors don't have to prove the defendant meant to kill anyone. If they prove Chiles intended to commit the act that caused the boy's death she could still be found guilty of murder.

"We brought charges against her for first degree murder, and we wouldn't proceed if we didn't think the evidence was there," prosecutor Brian Kuester said.

A family friend of the defendant described Chiles as a kind, loving person who enjoyed working with children.

"It's always a hurt feeling to see someone that you love face with circumstances that they can't change," Chiles' friend Gloria Drew said.

Prosecutors say they've not yet discussed whether to seek the death penalty in this case. The victim's family says they would like to see Chiles go to prison for the rest of her life.

Chiles will be back in court next week, when the judge will likely set a trial date.

Watch the video: Daycare Worker Accused Of Murder To Stand Trial

Related Stories:

5/17/2007 2-Year-Old Dies After Being Tied Up At Daycare, Says Police

5/18/2007 Selecting The Right Daycare For Your Children

5/18/2007 Daycare Worker Accused Of Killing Child Was Already Under Investigation

5/24/2007 Parents Of Child Who Died In Daycare Speak

5/29/2007 Court Hearing Date Set For Daycare Worker Charged With Murder

6/6/2007 Relatives Of Child Killed At Daycare Push For Change In Legislation

6/8/2007 New Allegations Against Daycare Owner Charged With Murder

6/12/2007 - DHS Procedures Under Review Following Child’s Death

7/17/2007 - Autopsy Results Released In Daycare Death