Robinson: Judge rejects plea deal for daycare owner taped beating toddler
A state district judge Wednesday rejected a plea deal offered to a Robinson daycare owner who admitted to hurting a toddler that would have allowed a conviction to be erased from her record.
In June, the McLennan County District Attorney's Office offered Glenda Hammons, 81, of Robinson, five years of deferred adjudication probation in exchange for a guilty plea to one count of injury to a child stemming from the incident, which another child recorded on video.
“We will have a trial and a chance for Glenda to have some accountability for what she did to our baby,” the toddler’s mother said in an email Wednesday.
Under the deal, the conviction would have been erased from her record had she successfully completed the probation.
The offense, a third-degree felony, carries a maximum punishment of two to 10 years in prison.
State District Judge Matt Johnson ordered a pre-sentence investigation after prosecutors offered and Hammons accepted the plea arrangement, but after reviewing the results said Wednesday he won’t accept the deal.
"We're fine with it," said Tom Needham, executive assistant district attorney and spokesman for the McLennan County District Attorney's Office.
"It was a case that we had concerns of because of her age and health that a jury outcome may not be good and felt it may be better to get a plea on it. But we understand the court's feeling on it and we have no problem whatsoever to let the jury make the determination. Let the will of the McLennan County people be done."
Hammons was arrested in August 2018 and was indicted in May after the 9-year-old who recorded the incident using a tablet showed the video to his mother.
The older child’s mother sent the video to the toddler’s parents and they reported the incident to Robinson police.
In the video, Hammons can be seen holding the then 21-month-old boy up by both arms and tossing him onto a hardwood floor, later dragging him across the floor by one leg as he cries.
"After she shakes the boy she slaps the back and side of his head roughly six times while saying 'put 'em on the floor dadgummit mind me! Your'e being hateful today!'" according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Hammons admitted to doing something wrong and told Robinson investigators that she deserved to be punished, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
The victim's parents say Hammons had called them on Aug. 9, 2018, about an incident that happened with their son the morning before.
"We knew something was wrong with the way he was acting that day, but we had no clue what was going on, he was just acting really weird, we didn't realize the extent of it," the boy’s mother said in June.
She says her son was later diagnosed with PTSD after after 10 months of weekly therapy sessions was learning to trust people again.
According to the Child Care Licensing (CCL) division of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), since Oct. 17, 1989, Hammons has been permitted to operate a "Registered Child-Care Home," a type of child care operation which provides care and supervision for no more than six children, age 13 or younger, during school hours.
The type of child care operation Hammons ran required permit renewal every two years, and it had to meet minimum standards during surprise inspections every one-to-two years, however, as of March 26, the daycare had been shut down, according to the HHSC's press office.
In a series of three letters from the HHSC to Hammons from October of 2018 to February of 2019, the agency revoked her permit and said she can't apply for another one for five years.