Day care owner convicted in baby’s death

The Associated Press - October 27, 2017 1:00 pm

Melissa Clark, a former daycare owner, enters the courtroom on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, in Norman, Okla. Clark pleaded not guilty in the July 2016 death of Braelyn Zachary, who prosecutors say was shaken by Clark. Clark has said she accidentally dropped the baby. (Steve Sisney/The Oklahoman via AP)

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) – A jury has convicted a former Oklahoma day care owner charged in the 2016 death of an infant left in her care.

The Norman Transcript reports jurors on Thursday found 47-year-old Melissa Dawn Clark guilty of first-degree murder and recommended she serve life in prison with the chance of parole.

Clark had pleaded not guilty in the July 2016 death of Braelyn Zachary. Clark has said she accidentally dropped the baby.

Prosecutors say Clark shook the 4-month-old girl.

Neuropathologist Dr. Roland Auer testified for the defense Wednesday that the child’s injuries could not have been caused just by being shaken.

Pediatrician Dr. Sarah Passmore testified for prosecutors that “shaking was likely involved” in the childs death.

Clark will be sentenced Dec. 13.


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