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Orange County Digest / Local News in Brief

North Tustin : Arraignment in Infant's Drowning Is Delayed

June 27, 1989

The arraignment of two North Tustin women charged with failing to obtain a day-care license after a pool accident left a toddler dead was delayed Monday while the defendants sought to have the case against them dismissed.

Misdemeanor charges were lodged last month against Carol Brooks and her mother, Diane Brooks, for the alleged violation of the state's health and safety code. The complaint followed a March 30 accident at their home day-care center in which 14-month-old Arthur M. Griese died and two other children were seriously injured when they toppled into the pool. The Brookses were not licensed as day-care providers.

Deputy Public Defender Deborah Barnum said that before a new July 17 arraignment date, she plans to argue in a court motion that the drowning should be best dealt with in civil litigation, rather than under criminal prosecution.

The Brookses' failure to obtain a day-care license "is not a crime in California," Barnum said in an interview. "To take a bad situation, a tragic accident, and make it into a crime is very sad."

The two women appeared in Municipal Court in Santa Ana for the scheduled arraignment but declined to speak with reporters.

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