Prosecutors began their case Monday against a Clermont day care worker accused of scalding a toddler in June 2014, depicting the employee as often strict toward the child.
“How would you describe her demeanor toward Damon?” Hall County Assistant District Attorney Shiv Sachdeva asked Discovering Basics employee Virginia Bailey.
“She spoke to him very mean,” Bailey said. “She would say things like, ‘Your mom doesn’t love you. She can’t keep you clean.’”
Sachdeva told jurors in Hall Superior Court that on the day of the alleged scalding, Eddye Pittmon was “irate” when she discovered feces on the child’s back.
“She always had it out for this mother and her baby, and this was another straw,” he said.
Pittmon is on trial this week on charges related to 16-month-old Damon Gaddis being burned at the Cleveland Highway day care center, which was later shut down by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.
She faces aggravated battery and child cruelty charges.
Pittmon’s lawyer, Troy Millikan, contends that the burns occurred before Pittmon tended to the child, saying that she noticed a blister instead.
Prosecutors “are trying to say the burn and the blister happened at the same time,” Millikan said. “It doesn’t. A blister is a reaction to (the burn).”
The case is about “wrong information, the wrong person and wrongful prosecution,” the lawyer said.
Also charged in the case are Discovering Basics owner Minnie Sue Dupree and site director Tara Miller, both of Gainesville.
Dupree is charged with giving false statements to authorities. She is accused of telling an investigator “that the running water in the infant room … did not get hot,” the indictment states.
Water in the center’s Crock-Pot tested at 161 degrees, according to Hall County Sheriff’s Office investigators.
And Miller of Gainesville is charged with second-degree child cruelty.
On that charge, she and Pittmon are accused of not seeking medical attention for the child’s burn, according to the indictment.