Exclusive: Clinton daycare worker charged with child abuse, months after state fined facility for vetting practices

Investigation revealed no paperwork showing whether daycare conducted background checks for 3 employees
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 9:34 PM CST
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CLINTON, Miss. (WLBT) - A Clinton daycare worker faces one count of felony child abuse after her actions injured an infant.

Clinton Police Capt. Josh Frazier confirms Shaterria Williams, 22, was arrested after an incident that took place November 4 at the Wildwood Childcare Center.

Frazier said the one-year-old infant sustained a busted lip from the way Williams was carrying the baby.

“The actions displayed were serious in nature, and [we’re] just fortunate that the child wasn’t injured more seriously. Being a daycare in a trust position over children ranging from infants to toddlers, I mean, that’s a trust issue. That’s a problem. But Wildwood was very good, they’ve cooperated fully,” said Clinton Police Chief Ford Hayman.

The daycare facility’s director, Candace Morgan, sent a letter to parents and staff a week after the incident.

“Upon learning of the incident soon after it occurred, Wildwood’s leadership took immediate steps to ensure the child’s well-being and investigate the incident,” Morgan wrote. “The investigation resulted in the immediate termination of the employee. Please be assured that this was an isolated incident.”

Director Candace Morgan told parents their children’s safety and welfare are a priority there.

A recent state inspection obtained by 3 On Your Side tells a slightly different story.

Documents from the Mississippi State Department of Health show penalties against Wildwood Childcare Center for failing to document that background checks for three of its employees had even been conducted.

That includes checking those prospective employees against the Child Abuse Central Registry and Sex Offender Registry.

The facility’s director did not respond to our requests for comment on these violations.

Meanwhile, Hayman says parents should make sure cases like this are brought to light when they happen by talking to their children.

“They need to have those conversations, even with young children and kind of explain what’s right, what’s wrong, you know, and just engage in those conversations,” Hayman said.

Hayman said his investigators are getting ready to send the case to the Hinds County District Attorney’s office so it can be presented to a grand jury.

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