POLK COUNTY, Iowa — A Johnston daycare provider originally charged in the 2019 death of a toddler in her care has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.
Trina Mazza was originally charged with child endangerment causing death and operating an unlicensed daycare. Court documents show she was caring for 17-month-old Tucker Schneider in her in-home daycare in February of 2019 when he became wedged upside down between two “pack and play” bassinets. Schneider was found unresponsive and he died a few days after the incident on February 17, 2019.
Accidental traumatic asphyxia was determined to be his cause of death.
Mazza’s trial has been delayed multiple times due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. She had been set to go to trial on October 31st, but the charges against her were amended last week and she entered a guilty plea.
Court records show the charge of child endangerment causing death was amended by the Polk County Attorney’s Office to neglect of a dependant person. She pleaded guilty to the charge at a hearing Friday and the Polk County Clerk of Courts Office confirmed her sentencing is scheduled for December 14th.
A wrongful death civil lawsuit filed by Schneider’s parents is on hold pending the conclusion of the criminal case.