Fort Worth Babysitter Caring for 9-month-old Choked by Car Seat Won't Face Criminal Charges From Police

Fort Worth police said Tuesday they won't pursue criminal charges against the babysitter who was caring for a 9-month-old boy found suffocated by an unbuckled car seat last week.John Norris' death has been ruled an accident by the Tarrant County medical examiner's office. Officers responded to a report of an unconscious person late Aug. 7 in the 600 block of Woodpecker Lane. They said they found the baby in a closet, where he had been sleeping in a car seat.It appeared the car seat had not been properly connected at the bottom belt strap, according to police. They said the baby's neck was caught between the fastened chest buckle, causing the buckle and strap mechanism to suffocate him.It's unclear whether the babysitter, who hasn't been identified, could face charges from separate investigations by the Department of Family and Protective Services. A spokeswoman for the department said last week that both Child Protective Services and the child-care licensing division were looking into the case.The babysitter's home was not a licensed child-care provider, according to the department. Marissa Gonzales, the DFPS spokeswoman, said the babysitter also had previous CPS history. She declined to elaborate.There have been competing accounts about how many children the babysitter was watching at her home.Megan Norris, John's mother, said she believed the babysitter, whom she used part time for several months, was watching her son and only one other child. But police said the woman was supervising 10 to 11 children.A neighbor of the babysitter said the woman was watching up to seven children, only two who were not relatives. Anita Dixon, the neighbor, said the babysitter cared for John plus the woman's own three sons plus a niece and a nephew. Some of the kids are preteens or in their early teens, Dixon said.The babysitter also watched a toddler girl on occasion, Dixon said."The kids love her," the neighbor said. "There's no abuse, no neglect."She called John's death "a freak accident."Dixon said the neighborhood kids play together and that her own 8-year-old and 12-year-old sons sometimes slept at the woman's house.  Continue reading...

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