Jury finds mother, daughter guilty of lesser charges in death of 2-year-old

Updated:

Loading

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - A Clayton County jury has found a mother and daughter guilty in the death of a 2-year-old child.

Prosecutors charged the owner of Marlos Magnificent Early Learning Center, Marlo Fallings and her daughter, Quantabia Hopkins, a teacher there, with felony murder.

A jury found Fallings guilty of reckless conduct. Hopkins was also found guilty of reckless conduct and involuntary manslaughter and contributing to the deprivation of a minor.

Fallings and Hopkins were found not guilty of murder.

Channel 2’s Tom Jones was live in Clayton County where even the prosecutors were seen in tears over the case.

Jones said Clayton County assistant DA, Deah Warren, choked up as she told the jury that 2-year-old Jazmin Green would be picking out an Easter outfit today if it were not for the defendants' reckless actions.

During closing remarks, Hopkins also cried.
 
Thursday, prosecutors rested their case and the judge dismissed two counts against the defendants.
 
After hearing the state's case, the judge threw out cruelty to children and contributing to the deprivation of a minor charges against the two.
 
April McAlister broke down crying in court as prosecutors showed pictures of her 2-year-old daughter, after she was transported to Southern Regional Hospital in June 2011.
 
Green died after prosecutors said she had been left in a day care van for more than two hours on a 93-degree day.
  
The state said Fallings and Hopkins were criminally negligent in Green’s death.
 
Green was left in the van after the day care visited a Chuck E. Cheese’s.
 
Prosecutors said Fallings lied on a state form, saying she was one of two required adults on the field trip. They said 16-year-old Miesha Ridley lied and said she was an adult on the form.
 
Ridley was left in charge of making sure all the children were off the bus when they returned to the day care. Ridley testified she didn't notice Green when she checked the van.
 
Green's mother blamed Fallings and Hopkins for giving her that important responsibility.
 
“She only did what they told her to do. I don't think she would have done that,” McAlister said.

Prosecutors said Hopkins faces 10 years in prison plus 36 months. Fallings faces 12 months in jail.