Day-care operator indicted for manslaughter in drowning death
The operator of a Philadelphia day-care center where a 7-year-old boy fatally drowned last summer has been indicted.
The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office said today that 31-year-old Tianna Edwards has been indicted on a charge of involuntary manslaughter, plus 21 counts of recklessly endangering another person, 21 counts of endangering the welfare of children, welfare fraud, theft by deception, medical assistance fraud and tampering with public records.
The indictment comes after Isear Jeffcoat died while swimming with other children a nine-foot-deep pool at the home of Edwards' mother on the 6600 block of North Eighth Street on June 30.
Staff members had taken the 21 children there from Edwards' center, Tianna's Terrific Tots. Edwards is alleged to have spent the day gambling at SugarHouse casino.
She told the Inquirer in a telephone interview from jail last month that she had "good intentions" and loved the children she cared for.
"I didn't open a day-care center so I could make money," she said. "I had good intentions. I did it because I love kids. I loved those damn kids like they were my own damn kids."
Edwards was arrested on Jan. 18. A preliminary hearing last month was postponed after prosecutors requested a grand jury.
The boy's mother has also filed a lawsuit against Edwards, saying she ran a fraudulently licensed day-care center.