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Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Parents Say State’s Negligence Allowed|Abusive Day Care Center to Kill Child

TULSA (CN) - Parents say their 2½-year-old son died from abuse he suffered at Vicky Chiles' Noah's Ark Day Care, and that officials at the state licensing agency knew of the center's long history of abuses but did not warn parents of it. They claim Chiles killed their son by duct-taping his mouth shut "for making too much noise at nap time," causing him to choke on his own blood and vomit and die from lack of oxygen to the brain.

The parents say Chiles punished their child, Joshua Minton, in this manner "for making too much noise at nap time" on May 17, 2007.

The 32-page complaint contains a litany of abuses, some violent, some sexual in nature, for which the Oklahoma Department of Human Services allegedly investigated Chiles, but inexplicably refusing to terminate her license. The Mintons demand punitive damages. Named as defendants are the State of Oklahoma ex rel Oklahoma Dept. of Human Services; Heather Christiano, a DHS licensing staff member responsible for field inspections, including Chiles'; Jane Whitson, Christiano's supervisor and a DHS Licensing Supervisor; Catherine Woldridge, Whitson's and Christiano's supervisor and a DHS Regional Program Manager; Howard Hendrick, the DHS Director; and Vicki Chiles, now in state prison, who ran the day care center in Tulsa.

The Mintons are represented in Oklahoma County Court by Daniel Graves with Graves, Barkett & McLain.

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