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Published: Wednesday, 1/24/2001

Day-care operator arraigned in baby's death

HILLSDALE - A local woman who operated a day-care center from her home was arraigned yesterday on charges of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of a 7-month-old baby in her care.

Carrie Adams, 41, is accused of causing the death of Trey Bowman. Police said the Jonesville baby died of injuries associated with shaken baby syndrome

Mrs. Adams was released on a surety bond signed by her husband, Steve Adams, a principal at North Adams-Jerome Elementary. She will appear for a preliminary exam Feb. 22.

The felony charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail.

Hillsdale attorney Kevin Shirk declined to comment on the specifics of his client's case. But he said the truth is a “different review of the facts that have been presented thus far.''

“I think that as time goes on and when the full facts of the case come out, I believe Mrs. Adams will be exonerated,” he said yesterday.

Trey Bowman died Jan. 8 at Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor after spending four days on life support.

Mrs. Adams called emergency crews Jan. 4, saying one of the children in her care had stopped breathing, Hillsdale County Prosecutor Neal Brady said.

Mrs. Adams was caring for eight children at the time.

The Michigan Department of Consumer & Industry Services suspended Mrs. Adams day-care license Jan. 12. The state agency, which granted the license in August, cited the death and the fact that Mrs. Adams was watching more children than her license allowed, as reasons for the suspension.

Mrs. Adams was licensed to care for up to six children, ages infant to 14, in her home.

The Bowman family and Mrs. Adams have declined comment. Mr. Brady said the police investigation revealed the injuries were not caused by blunt-force trauma, but by the rapid movement of the baby's brain within his skull.

Mr. Shirk said his client was deeply affected by the infant's death, and she recognizes the impact the tragedy has had on the Bowman family and the community.

But he said the facts of the case should be confined to the courtroom.

“I don't think it's appropriate for state agencies to trickle or leak any information when there are pending charges. It poisons the well,” he said. “We need to stay impartial, and in a small community, it's ... difficult to do that when all this information is out there.”



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