Day care worker sentenced to a year in jail after toddler dies in her care

A Florida day care worker has been sentenced to nearly a year in jail after a toddler died in her care.

Louvenia Johnson, 29, was on Friday sentenced to 11 months and 15 days in jail, along with 10 years’ probation, following the death of three-year-old Jai’Nier Barnes.

Louvenia pleaded no contest to the charges of aggravated manslaughter of a child by culpable negligence, but admitted while testifying that she was distracted while unloading the children, leading to Jai’Nier death.

According to the Pensacola News-Journal, Louvenia and fellow driver, Cornel McGee, picked up three-year-old Jai'Nier Barnes at her Pensacola home in August 2017 and drove her, along with several other children, to the In His Arms Christian Academy.

However, after four hours of not seeing Jai’Nier, Cornel went outside only to discover the toddler in the car.

Employees then tried CPR but they couldn’t save her as she died of hyperthermia at the hospital.

In handing down his decision, Judge Joel Boles, deviated from the recommended minimum sentence of 13 years in prison, because he felt “the defendant had not intended to harm Jai'Nier.”

Last week, a jury acquitted Cornel for his role in Jai’Nier’s death after prosecutors provided evidence that showed both he and Louvenia signed a state-mandated transportation logs saying the toddler had been taken off the van.

Cornel spoke to News-Journal after his acquittal and said that Louvenia had picked up every child and stated their name, including Jai'Nier, while he checked off their name in the log.

He further explained that she must have gotten distracted after calling Jai'Nier's name, and then the child fell asleep in the car.

Sources: PEOPLE, Pensacola News-Journal