A day care worker accused of scalding a 16-month-old boy was found guilty Friday afternoon of battery and child cruelty.
Eddye Pittmon had been charged with two counts of aggravated battery, child cruelty in the first degree and child cruelty in the second degree. The jury did not find her guilty of aggravated battery but of the lesser charge of battery.
With sentencing delayed, Pittmon was placed in handcuffs following the reading of the verdict.
“It’s shocking to her like it was shocking to all of us because it couldn’t have happened like they said it happened,” her attorney Troy Millikan said.
The incident happened in June 2014 at the Discovering Basics day care in Clermont.
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. Miller is charged with second-degree child cruelty, accused of not seeking medical attention for the child’s burn.
The jury deliberated until 6 p.m. Thursday after taking Superior Court Judge Jason Deal’s charges earlier that day. Deal allowed the jury to return Friday morning for further deliberations. The verdict was read after 2 p.m. Friday.
The jury members earlier asked for clarification of the word “intentionally” as it related to the aggravated battery counts. Deal defined the word as meaning “deliberately or on purpose.”
The jury then decided on the lesser-included offense of battery, which signified to Millikan the jurors saw it was less harm and not malicious.
First-degree child cruelty can be punished by a maximum 20 years in prison.
“It’s a harsh result, and hopefully we’ll overturn it on appeal,” Millikan said.
Pittmon will be sentenced 9 a.m. Feb. 2.