MICHIGAN CITY | Charges were filed Friday against the owner of a Michigan City day care center for the hanging death of a 5-year old boy.
Tricia Calvin is charged in LaPorte Superior Court with involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide.
Police and prosecutors are withholding any comment on the case. However, it's alleged in the charges that on June 9, Calvin failed to properly supervise the boy, resulting in his death.
Both charges against the LaPorte-area woman are listed in court records as Class C felonies. Starting July 1, though, crimes in Indiana were changed to a different level 1 to level 6 system, but the boy's death occurred before the change took effect.
Investigators previously said the victim, Amareon Williams, and other children were allowed to play without adult supervision in a backyard area of Tricia's Playhouse and Day Care at 1824 E. Michigan Boulevard. Calvin and two employees were inside, taking care of infants placed in their care, authorities said.
Authorities said Williams was seen on top of a playset by other children draping a rope around his neck. When he came down a slide, the boy stopped before reaching the bottom. The other end of the rope was fastened to the top of the playset. Some children, after discovering the boy unresponsive, thought he was kidding and tried to push him either up or down the slide, then realized he was not joking.
His mother, Anita LeFlore, has filed a lawsuit alleging negligence against Calvin for allowing her business to remain open despite being cited April 21 for multiple violations that resulted in the day care center being placed on probation.
According to the lawsuit, the citations were for violations that included failing to report suspected abuse and neglect, along with inflicting cruel, harsh or unusual punishment on a child and failing to maintain records of criminal history checks on staff members. Her lawsuit also alleges the rope was draped around the top of the playset and should have been removed before children showed up at the day care.