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Day care owner, staff members indicted in 2014 toddler burn case
16-month-old injured by scalding water in June incident
Eddye Pittmon

The owner, site director and an employee at a former Clermont day care were indicted Thursday on charges connected to a toddler who was burned on the premises last summer.

Authorities believe Discovering Basics’ owner Minnie Sue Dupree, 66, site director Tara Miller, 40, both of Gainesville and Eddye Pittmon, 55, of Talmo, were involved in burns sustained by Damon Gaddis, who was 16 months old at the time.

Hall County Sheriff’s Office investigator Angelyn Miller testified at a probable cause hearing that the alleged burn occurred around 10 a.m. June 13.

Gaddis suffered second- and third-degree burns from hot water.

Pittmon faces aggravated battery charges for allegedly putting hot water on his leg, according to the indictment.

Jointly, Tara Miller and Pittmon were charged with second-degree child cruelty for allegedly not seeking medical attention for the child’s burn, according to the indictment.

Dupree faces charges of influencing a witness, false statements and tampering with evidence.

Sheriff’s office investigators searched the Clermont facility June 17.

“We found a Crock-Pot in the infants’ room where Damon and the other children were present that day,” Miller said at the committal hearing, adding the temperature tested at 161 degrees.

According to the indictment, Dupree allegedly “turned off the running hot water in the infant room of the (Discovering) Basics (day care) and failed to disclose this to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office when they served a search warrant ...”

The indictment goes on to say that Dupree allegedly told Miller the day after the search that “the running water in the infant room of the (Discovering) Basics (day care) did not get hot.”

Dupree also faces a charge of influencing a witness, allegedly telling another employee to destroy a picture of Gaddis’ leg.

Dupree’s attorney Graham McKinnon said his client has been wrongly accused.

“We’re going to fight to clear her name,” McKinnon said.

Attorneys were not listed for Pittmon and Miller according to the Hall County Comprehensive Justice Information System.

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