Four day care workers charged with manslaughter out on $20K bond

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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — Four women accused of manslaughter in connection to the death of a 5-year-old in West Memphis are all out of custody.

A judge gave them each a $20,000 bond at their first court appearance Monday morning.

The women were charged last week after the young boy was found dead in a hot van outside Ascent Children’s Health Services, where they worked.

“Christopher was signed on into the school, checked off as arriving, even though we know now, obviously, he never made it into the classroom,” said West Memphis Police Capt. Joe Baker.

Police say the four women all neglected their job duties to make sure Christopher made it off the van safely.

“They had an obligation to make sure this child not only got safely to the school, but inside the school and watched during the daytime,” said Capt. Baker.

On Monday, West Memphis Municipal Court Judge Fred Thorne gave the four women a $20,000 bond each.

Three of the four women appeared with their attorneys, who have all worked on high-profile cases in the Mid-South before.

Wanda Taylor, accused of falsely signing Christopher into the day care, is being represented by Jonesboro attorney Ray Nickle.

Kendra Washington, the safety inspector, is being represented by Memphis attorney Claiborne Ferguson.

Felicia Phillips, the van driver, is being represented by Memphis attorney Howard Manis.

And Pamela Robinson, the worker responsible for supervising the van, is still hiring representation.

“This was completely preventable,” said Capt. Baker.

Christopher’s family was at the hearing Monday but didn’t want to comment. Neither did any of the defendants.

The four women are all set to be in district court next on July 31.

Christopher’s family says they also plan to file a lawsuit in connection to this case.

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