By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Day care owner, employees in toddler burn case released on bond
Eddye Pittmon
Eddye Pittmon

The owner, site director and an employee of a Clermont day care have all been released on bond in the case of a burned toddler.

Eddye Pittmon, 55, of Talmo, charged with child cruelty in the first degree in the burning of 16-month-old Damon Gaddis at Discovering Basics day care, was granted a $35,000 bond Wednesday. She was released around 3 p.m., according to her attorney Troy Millikan.

Owner Minnie “Sue” Dupree, 66, and site director Tara Miller, 40, both of Gainesville, were released Tuesday on $25,000 bond each. Dupree is accused of influencing testimony, having allegedly intimidated an employee into destroying photographic evidence. Miller faces a charge of child cruelty in the second degree, allegedly knowing of the injuries and not seeking medical attention for the child.

Miller is Dupree’s daughter.

Damon was evaluated to have second- and third-degree burns on his lower stomach and left leg. Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Deputy Nicole Bailes said the injuries were determined to be the result of a water burn.

The terms of the bonds include that Pittmon, Dupree and Miller cannot be “unsupervised in the presence of children under 18” except for their own biological children. They also cannot have any contact with Discovering Basics or people associated with the center.

Pittmon waived a hearing of the evidence against her Monday, and was scheduled to have her bond hearing at 9 a.m. Thursday. Millikan worked with the district attorney’s office to get Pittmon released on bond as soon as possible. The district attorney’s office declined to comment.

“They should have never delayed it that long anyway,” Millikan said. “She’s never been in jail before, never been accused of anything.”

A committal hearing is scheduled for July 11 in magistrate court, where the judge will decide if there is sufficient evidence to move the case to trial.

Jim Walters, the attorney for Dupree, could not be reached for comment.

“Unequivocally, there is no doubt in my mind that (Miller) is not guilty and she’ll be exonerated of these charges,” said Jeffery Talley, the attorney for Miller.