More on Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby
I watched the interview with my 7 year-old, who wasn't quite sure what the story was about. I told him that a lady left her 2 year-old daughter in the car all day while she was at work, and the baby died. I asked him if he thought she should get in trouble, and he immediately said, "YEAH! I mean, Mommy... she KILLED her BABY! She needs to be in JAIL!"
I told him the story was about the fact that she was NOT in jail, and wasn't getting in trouble at all for the crime.
His reply... "I don't get it, Mommy. Michael Vick hurt some dogs, and HE'S getting in trouble- why isn't she? Will she get in trouble the next time she does something wrong?"
"Well, honey... I don't know. This isn't the first time she left the baby alone in the car- even the police warned her against it".
He said, "You've GOT to be KIDDING ME! They told her, and told her, and told her... and she STILL didn't listen!?!!!? She needs to be in jail, Mommy."
What do you say to that, other than "I know, baby. I think so too, and I don't understand why she's not."
How can my 7 year-old child recognize an illegal act, yet the county prosecutor cannot? I can't help but to believe this has to do with her job as an assistant principal at the junior high, her social status, and, yes... her race. As much as I hate to admit it, I truly believe that if this had happened in a different neighborhood, to a minority woman, she never would have been allowed to go home after the initial incident- she'd be in jail.
Little Cecelia had BLISTERS on her tiny body caused from the heat she endured... she BLISTERED!!! And this wasn't the first time she'd left her locked in the car- she was warned several times by her older daughter's daycare and even the police, yet they STILL chose not to charge her. People... come on. How can this not be criminal?
Negligence is defined as "failure to exercise the degree of care expected of a person of ordinary prudence in like circumstances in protecting others from a foreseeable and unreasonable risk of harm in a particular situation." Seems to fit. A person of ordinary prudence would NOT have left their child locked in a car for 8 hours in 95-100 degree weather.
Reckless is "characterized by the creation of a substantial and unjustifiable risk to the lives, safety, or rights of others and by a conscious and sometimes wanton and willful disregard for or indifference to that risk that is a gross deviation from the standard of care a reasonable person would exercise in like circumstances." OK, I can see why this may not fit, because Slaby didn't act with wanton and willful disregard. She didn't purposely leave her baby in the car, so I can see why charges involving "reckless" wouldn't apply.
Endangerment is simply defined as "the crime or tort of exposing others to possible harm or danger." Considering she exposed her daughter to enough heat to cause harm, danger, and death... why doesn't this fit into Ohio laws?? Because in Ohio, in order for you to be considered "endangering" someone's life, you must also be guilty of recklessness, and she's not. SO WHY IN THE HELL DID THE POLICE DEPARTMENT RECOMMEND CHILD ENDANGERMENT CHARGES WHEN THEY KNEW THEY WOULDN'T STICK!!!!
In my mind, this woman deserves more than just her own mental anguish over the death of her daughter. She's still on PAID administrative leave, and won't be criminally charged for killing her daughter. In my world, she'd be in jail, and charged with Negligent Homicide or Involuntary Manslaughter. Her actions caused the death of her child, even if she didn't do it on purpose. I fail to see how that doesn't fit the definition negligent homicide or involuntary manslaughter.
You can read the police report HERE.