Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce was on my show today to explain why she isn't prosecuting the parents of Sophia Knutsen, the 7-month-old baby who died when her parents left her in their car on the Washington University Med School campus on August 23rd.
Joyce says it came down to two words, "criminal negligence," which she could not establish beyond a reasonable doubt, because her office couldn't prove that Russell Knutsen "knew his baby was in his care at the time he parked his car." As for the mother, Beth Ann Kozel, Joyce says that she assumed that her husband knew the baby was in the car when they made the switch, so she can't be held criminally responsible, either.
I also asked Joyce how this differs from the case of Delea Payne, the daycare center driver who is being prosecuted for leaving 3-year-old Ricky Dixon on a van during a field trip to the St. Louis Science Center on August 7th.
Here's Jennifer Joyce's press release on her decision.