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Md. Day Care Provider Sentenced

April 20, 1999

CENTREVILLE, Md. (AP) _ A former day care provider was sentenced Monday to two years and four months in jail for the deaths of two babies who suffocated after a quilt accidentally fell over their faces.

``I didn’t mean them any harm,″ said a sobbing Stacey W. Russum, 33.

The children, 6-month-old Ian Denny and 5-month-old Matthew Harrison, suffocated in an upstairs bedroom in her home in May 1998.

Mrs. Russum said she used the quilt to prevent the boys from rolling off the adult bed while they were napping. She then returned downstairs where she baked cupcakes and oversaw a birthday party for other children in her care.

Circuit Judge John W. Sause Jr. sentenced her to five years for each of two counts of reckless endangerment. The judge suspended all but 14 months of each sentence.

The judge said he imposed a jail sentence in hopes that it would deter other child care providers from taking their responsibilities lightly.

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