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Metropolitan Digest / Los Angeles County News In Brief

VAN NUYS : Charges Dropped Against Sitter in Death of Baby

August 05, 1992

A judge Monday dropped charges against a Reseda baby-sitter in connection with the death of a 14-month-old boy, but prosecutors said they will seek a new trial today in a separate case involving the death of a child in her care that left a jury deadlocked.

Van Nuys Municipal Judge Leslie A. Dunn dismissed involuntary manslaughter and child-endangerment charges against Debra Suzanne Cummings, 34, saying that no evidence was presented during the preliminary hearing indicating that Cummings' behavior caused the death of Matthew Cooley. The child died March 15, 1990, after losing consciousness while at a park.

Although the Cooley child died first, prosecutors filed charges against Cummings for his death after filing charges against her in the murder of 9-month-old Kevin Young. The Young baby died of head injuries on June 15, 1990, while Cummings was baby-sitting in her home.

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