A Blair woman pleaded no contest Thursday to child abuse in connection with the drowning death of a child at her day care facility.
Under a plea agreement, Nancy Tierney, 59, was found guilty of negligent child abuse, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
She had faced felony child abuse charges, but they were dropped under the agreement, said Burt County Attorney Dan Smith, named special prosecutor in the Washington County case due to a conflict of interest.
The original charge of involuntary manslaughter had been dismissed, he said.
Tierney left children in her care unattended Aug. 8 while she used the bathroom. During that time, a 16-month-old girl wandered into a swimming pool in Tierney's backyard and drowned.
Tierney told investigators she had checked the lock on the pool gate the previous evening “and believed it was secured.”
The state revoked the day care license for Tierney, who had been approved to care for up to 10 children between the ages of 6 weeks and 13 years since 1983. She will be sentenced May 16.
— Maggie O'Brien