Teenage daycare worker charged with manslaughter after she left 4-year-old boy in sweltering SUV for two hours to die
A 19-year-old woman is facing charges of aggravated manslaughter for the death of a 4-year-old boy in her care who died in a sweltering SUV last month. Paris Ward, of Miramar, Florida is accused of leaving Jordan Coleman inside a parked 2002 Toyota Sequoia for almost three hours on August 1st during which his body temperature rose to a fatal 108-degrees. Breaking down in tears this morning in front of Broward Circuit Court Judge John Hurley, Ward’s attorney, Derek Lewis, argued against her $10,000 bond saying she has no criminal record and is not a danger to the public.
According to the arrest warrant issued last month, Ward allegedly left the 4-year-old boy unattended inside a parked SUV that belonged to the 3 C’s Day Academy of Sunrise. During Wards’ hearing, Lewis said that she had never been an official employee of 3C’s and wasn’t responsible for the SUV that Coleman was pulled out of at the Versailles Garden apartment complex in Tamarac. Despite the best efforts of the Tamarac Fire Rescue paramedics Jordan Coleman was pronounced dead at Broward Health Coral Springs hospital just after 5 p.m. on August 1st. The court heard that the 3 C’s Day Academy of Sunrise was already under investigation at the time of the incident. According to the charges against Ward, the owner of the day-care centre Cecily Roberts had Ward drive Coleman and seven other young children to the Versailles apartment complex because she had taken on too many children that day and was afraid of an inspection.
It is alleged that on the way to the apartment complex, 4-year-old Coleman fell asleep and was left in the SUV by mistake while the other children were taken into an apartment owned by the day-care centre operator’s friend. After two-and-a-half hours, Coleman’s five-year-old cousin asked where he was and the little boy was discovered suffering from hyperthermia due to the high temperature inside the locked SUV. Furthermore, Ward is alleged to have lied to investigators when asked how Coleman originally came to be in the car, telling a homicide detective of Broward Sheriffs Office that he had inexplicably collapsed while getting into the SUV. However, she later admitted the truth to another detective, although she was reluctant to turn herself in once an arrest warrant had been issued for her. It appears this is really tantamount to just extreme, gross negligence, at a minimum, which allegedly caused the death of the child,’ said Judge Hurley. ‘And what’s unfortunate is that it does appear that Ms. Ward and the others at the day care center knew of this dangerous situation and they had been warned and cited, I believe, in the past regarding these matters.’ Ward’s attorney, Derek Lewis told the judge that Ward never received proper training and was not told that she had to do a roll call when the children got in and out of the van. He added that the minimum age required to act as a substitute for the day care operator, Cecily Roberts is 21. Since appearing in court, Ward has posted a $10,000 bond and she is the first person to be charged in what police say is an ongoing investigation.