Judge Hears Motion to Dismiss Charge in Connection with Johnston Daycare Death

Trina Mazza and attorney Montgomery Brown at hearing on motion to dismiss charge of child neglect resulting in death. July, 24, 2019 (WHO-HD)

POLK COUNTY, Iowa — The lawyer for a Johnston daycare provider facing child endangerment charges after the death of a two-year-old in her care is asking a judge to throw out the charges.

Forty-seven-year-old Trina Mazza is charged with child endangerment resulting in death and running an unlicensed daycare. Seventeen-month-old Tucker Schneider died in February while in her care after becoming stuck upside down between two “pack and play” bassinets. An autopsy revealed he died of accidental traumatic asphyxia.

A search warrant showed Mazza called her husband before 911 once she found the child unresponsive.

At a Wednesday hearing, Mazza’s lawyer argued she was not culpable for the child’s death and that the statute itself was too vague to be reasonable.

He also says the delay in the 911 call shouldn’t be grounds for prosecution.

“I can find no state case where some form of prosecution was predicated solely upon some delay in a 9-1-1 call,” argued Montgomery Brown, attorney for Trina Mazza.

The judge has yet to make a ruling on the motion.

Mazza could face up to 50 years in prison if convicted.

In a separate case, Trina and her husband, Michael Mazza, also face charges of dependent adult abuse, theft and forgery. Investigators say the couple stole more than $163,000 from Michael Mazza’s mother.

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