An unlicensed Hemet daycare operator, whose alleged inattention resulted in the suffocation death of a 7-month-old girl left in her care, pleaded not guilty today to involuntary manslaughter.
Denise Renee Worman, 53, was charged with the felony count in September following a nearly six-month-long investigation into the death of Addison Watkins.
Worman was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Mark Johnson, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Nov. 3 at the Banning Justice Center.
Worman, who is free on a $25,000 bond, operated an unregistered daycare out of her residence in the 1200 block of Stepstone Court, near Silkstone Drive, according to the California Department of Social Services.
The baby named Addison and her 3-year-old brother were left in Worman’s care on the morning of March 27, as on multiple prior occasions, according to Hemet police and fire officials.
Investigators allege the defendant placed Addison and her sibling in a bean bag chair while she tended to other business in the house, and in the time she was not watching the children, the baby rolled face-down in the bag, at which point her brother sat on her.
When the defendant returned, Addison was not breathing, according to police.
Lt. Eddie Pust said paramedics attempted to resuscitate the baby, who was pronounced dead on arrival at Hemet Valley Medical Center.
The ensuing investigation revealed that the baby’s parents had left her brother in the home numerous times over a two-year period, without any known complications, according to Pust.
Worman has no prior misdemeanor or felony convictions on record.