N.Va. day care provider convicted in 4-month-old boy’s death

The owner-operator of a day care in Stafford County, Virginia, has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter and child abuse, in the 2019 death of a 4-month-old boy.

Teresa Council, 58, had been indicted on a charge of felony murder after the death of the infant. She entered an Alford plea Tuesday, as part of an agreement with prosecutors, who dropped the murder count, which could have carried a maximum of 40 years in prison.

In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges evidence would support a conviction. In accepting the plea, the judge declared Council guilty of the two counts. Each carries up to 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors said the baby boy was dropped off by his father at the home day care, operated by Council and her daughter, on Nov. 12, 2019.

That afternoon, 911 was called. First responders found the baby pale, not breathing and turning blue.

An autopsy showed the boy died from brain trauma, likely from his head being violently shaken back and forth.

Her lawyer has said Council was attempting to save the infant, who was choking during feeding.

Council’s attorneys and prosecutors will have the opportunity to call witnesses at her sentencing hearing before a Stafford County Circuit Court judge, scheduled for Oct. 25, according to court records.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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