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2 charged in water incidents

Apr. 2, 2003

Criminal charges have been filed against two women who left toddlers unattended in water in two separate incidents last year.

Joann Mary Dauberman, 23, of Phoenix, has been charged with negligent homicide. She is accused of leaving her two sons unattended in the bathtub for 20 minutes in March while she wrote a letter to her boyfriend in prison.

When she returned, 13-month-old Raymond was facedown in the tub. He died at the hospital. His 2-year-old brother was unharmed.

In a separate case, Francis Yates, 66, of Glendale, faces child abuse charges for allowing her then-15-month-old grandson, Sammy, to slip into a filthy pool in her backyard in October. The boy got out of the house through an open door, then into the pool through a propped-open gate.

Yates pulled the boy out after two or three minutes and he was breathing when rescue crews flew him to a Phoenix hospital.

It wasn't the first time a toddler ended up in her pool, a fact that weighed heavily with prosecutors, Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley said.

In November 2000, a 14-month-old boy who was being baby-sat at Yates' home got into the pool through a pet door and an open gate. That boy also survived.

Romley said he asked the grand jury for indictments because the two women's inattention to the children "crossed over from being just negligent to criminally negligent."

In 2000, two other Phoenix women were convicted of negligent homicide in the bathtub drownings of their young children. Vanessa Rico received four year's probation and has since been deported to Mexico due to her illegal immigration status. Janis Perry was sentenced to six months in jail.
Reproduced with permission from:
The Arizona Republic
By Carol Sowers
Copyright 2003 Arizona Republic

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