DEKALB COUNTY, GA—The owner of a Dunwoody home daycare center has been sentenced to 35 years in connection with the death of a 4-month-old baby and other allegations of abuse related to children in her care.
Amanda Hickey, 48, pleaded guilty on Sept. 22 to seven counts of Cruelty to Children in the First Degree, seven counts of Reckless Conduct, one count of Cruelty to Children in the Second Degree and three counts of Simple Battery.
Hickey entered guilty pleas pursuit to Alford to Murder in the Second Degree and Cruelty to Children in the Second Degree.
On Friday, DeKalb County Superior Court Chief Judge LaTisha Dear Jackson sentenced Hickey to 35 years to serve 30 in confinement with the remaining 5 years on probation. Once she is released, conditions of her probation include that she may not have any contact with the victims or their families, she may not have any contact or work with any children under the age of 13 and may not gain financially from the case.
The charges against Hickey stem from the Febr. 3, 2021 death of a f4-month-old baby boy in her care. The child was found unresponsive in his crib at Hickey’s “Little Lovey” home daycare center.
According to the investigation, t Hickey had placed the baby on his stomach for sleep against recommended medical guidelines for safe infant sleep positions. Video evidence indicated the child was left unattended for more than two hours prior to being found.
Further investigation revealed physical abuse against six other victims in the daycare center ranging in age from 6 months to 16 months old. The daycare center was licensed for a maximum of six children, but on the date of the alleged incident(s), was nearly double capacity.
“Today’s plea and sentencing put to rest what has been a painful chapter for the families who once trusted Amanda Hickey to watch over what they hold most dear, their children,” said DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston. “While her decision to plead guilty to her crimes will not undo the harm she inflicted, it does spare these families the pain of re-living their worst days at trial. We appreciate the thoughtful sentence handed down by Judge Dear Jackson and hope it brings some measure of peace to everyone who has been impacted.”
The case, assigned to the District Attorney’s Sexual Exploitation and Crimes Against Children Unit (SECAC), was prosecuted by Special Victims Unit Director Edward Chase with assistance from Senior ADA Jasmine Reese, Supervising DA Investigator Takita Green, and Victim Advocate Yuzellie Garcia. Former Dunwoody Police Department Detective Ethan Taffar led the initial investigation.