Owner of Burbank in-home daycare sentenced to six years in prison

The owner of an in-home daycare in Burbank was sentenced to six years in state prison Wednesday after an 11-month-old boy suffocated to death from a car-seat chest strap under her care, officials said.

Milena Nikodijevic, 52, owner of Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars in Burbank, pleaded no contest earlier this month to one count of child endangerment causing death, according to a statement released by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

In February 2012, Burbank police responded to the 200 block of West Santa Anita Avenue, where the infant — identified by prosecutors only as Adam D. — was reportedly not breathing. The baby was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Prosecutors said one of Nikodijevic’s employees, Wendy Roxana Oropeza, 22, improperly secured Adam D. in another child’s car seat inside the day care, where he fell asleep and suffocated from the strap.

Meanwhile, Nikodijevic reportedly had three times the number of children under the age of 2 in her care than her license allowed and had been cited twice before for violating capacity rules, prosecutors said.

In January, Oropeza pleaded no contest to one count of involuntary manslaughter, after which she was sentenced to one year in county jail and five years of probation.

Both Nikodijevic and Oropeza are banned from working as child-care providers, according to the district attorney’s office.


Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.


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