Crime & Courts

Day care owner gets jail over broken leg

An acting Johnson County judge has sentenced a former Gardner day care provider to more than two years for allegedly breaking a child's leg.

The sentence by Cindi Cornwell surprised prosecutors and the defense lawyer for Beatrice Judah, who had agreed to a probation deal.

Cornwell, a lawyer, was appointed to serve as a temporary judge in that and other cases. She imposed a sentence of 32 months.

Judah, 37, had pleaded no contest to aggravated battery for the incident at her day care on June 21, 2006.

Under the deal, lawyers agreed Judah would get 30 days and probation. Judges are not required to follow such agreements.

Noah Brewington, then 9 months old, suffered a spiral fracture of his leg at the day care. It's a kind of break officials say often is associated with child abuse.

Judah's attorney, Brian Costello, said his client contends the child probably broke his leg while in a bouncy chair device.

Costello said Judah took responsibility for the injury because it happened at her day care. He said Judah has three special-needs children to care for and does not think prison time is appropriate.

Noah, now 5, is fully recovered.

His mother, Jennifer Brewington of Gardner, testified at Wednesday's sentencing. "We are grateful he will never remember the horrible thing that happened that day, but we will never forget," she said. "I don't want her to forget the pain she has caused our baby."

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