A Manassas woman has been cleared of all criminal charges in connection with the March death of a 3-month-old baby girl at a Bristow home daycare, according to circuit court documents.
Circuit Court Judge Mary Grace O'Brien dismissed the charges against Yolanda Gracella Larin on Monday, the day her trial on five courts of child endangerment was to begin.
Joseph McGuire, Larin's attorney, said prosecutors in the case agreed that Larin was the least culpable of anyone involved.
A message seeking comment from Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Sandra Sylvester, who prosecuted the case, wasn't immediately returned.
Larin got the job after responding to an advertisement she heard on a Hispanic radio station and hadn't been working there long when 3-month-old Teagan Sample died, McGuire said.
The cause and manner of the baby's death is undetermined, according to information released by the Medical Examiner's Office in Manassas.
His client told the owners of the daycare that her employment background was in construction, but that she had experience raising her own children, McGuire added.
It wasn't until she began working that she realized she would be responsible for the care of so many children, he said.
Prince William Police said only Larin and Mirna Mendez, who was also charged in the case, were responsible for caring for 23 children, all under the age of 4, including six newborns.
Neglect charges were dismissed against 42-year-old Mendez in December.
McGuire said his client, Larin, was doing the best she could and was not criminally liable.
"She still feels horrible about what happened. She is shocked and beside herself," McGuire said. "It is terrible for the parents."
Police conducted a separate investigation into the daycare's owners, Rocio del Pilar Chavez Pacheco and Joan Carla Barra, who entered guilty pleas for a number of violations related to the daycare, which was located on Sapphire Ridge Place in Bristow, according to court records.
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