Motion Denied to Dismiss Charge Against Johnston Daycare Owner in Connection with Toddler’s 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)

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POLK COUNTY, Iowa – A judge has denied a motion to dismiss the case against a Johnston daycare provider charged with child endangerment causing death.

Trina Mazza was charged in the February death of 17-month-old Tucker Schneider. The child died after being found unresponsive at her unlicensed in-home daycare. He had become stuck upside down between two “pack and play” bassinets. An autopsy revealed he died of accidental traumatic asphyxia.

Investigators say Mazza was caring for more than seven children at the unlicensed daycare the same day Schneider was found unresponsive.

Mazza’s attorney had argued the charge should be dismissed because the language in the “necessary provisions” language, defining the charge, is unconstitutionally vague. The attorney also claimed that based on the facts alleged in the minutes of testimony, the state cannot prove the statute was violated.

The judge disagreed with both arguments.

in the ruling, filed Friday, the judge stated, “This may be a fact intensive case, but the terms of the statute are understandable and reasonably apprise people that they must provide appropriate supervision of children.”

Mazza also faces a charge of operating an unlicensed daycare in the case.

Her trial has been scheduled for December 2nd, 2019.

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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