Charges dropped against Bootheel day-care provider

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Prosecutors have dropped charges against a day-care provider who allegedly left an infant alone for nearly two hours after the woman agreed to never again work with small children. Starlette Marshallen Clark, 32, was facing a felony charge of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child. She was accused of leaving 3-month-old Emily Eastwood alone in her home near Poplar Bluff for nearly two hours on Feb. 3. The child was unharmed. Clark had operated a state-licensed child-care center at her home since 1998. The state has since revoked her license. Butler County prosecutor Kevin Barbour dismissed the charge at the request of the victim's family. In exchange, Clark agreed that she will never own, work at or with any day-care facility, or work as a nurse or in any facility that cares for young children.

Jeff Rolland, the child's grandfather, said the family's main concern "was to try and ensure that this would never occur to anyone else."

Clark's attorney, Danny Moore, said she was "very remorseful over this."

"This is what she has done for years, care for small kids. She would never intentionally do anything to harm a hair on a kid's head."

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