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Day Care Provider Guilty in Death

June 15, 1999

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ A day care operator was convicted of fatally shaking a 13-month-old boy and slamming his head on the floor, apparently because he wouldn’t stop watching television.

Manjit Basuta, 44, could get 25 years to life in prison at sentencing July 13. She was convicted Monday in the slaying of Oliver Smith.

The boy’s mother, Audrey Amaral, is pushing for a law that would require stricter regulations for day care centers.

Cristina Carrillo, Basuta’s Guatemalan housekeeper, testified that Ms. Basuta shook the toddler and slammed his head because he refused to stop watching television when it was time for a diaper change.

Defense Eugene Iredale argued that the boy died from a previous head injury, possibly at the hands of his mother.

However, the judge barred the defense from telling the jury that Ms. Amaral was accused of abuse by her former husband during a custody battle over Oliver. The allegations were later dropped.

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