Daycare workers who petrified children with Halloween masks punished in court

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By Kim Novak

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The daycare workers who were filmed terrifying children by wearing a Scream-style mask have stood trial in court this week.

Footage had gone viral of the young children crying, screaming, and running in fear as one of the workers creeped around the classroom at the Lil' Blessings Child Care and Learning Center in Hamilton, Mississippi.

In the video, which went public last October, the staff member in the mask could be heard shouting: "You best be good!", and "Clean up!", at the petrified kids.

Another employee can be seen telling the masked staff member which of the kids were good and bad, adding: "They're supposed to be cleaning up, monster!", as the masked employee gets up close to the faces of the crying children.

Five women have stood trial at Monroe County Justice Court on Friday in connection with the viral video, with Oci-Anna Kilburn, Sierra McCandless, and Jennifer Newman each facing five counts of child abuse, according to reports from WTVA, while Shyenne Shelton was charged with four counts of child abuse, and Traci Hutson with simple assault against a minor and failure to report abuse.

After a grand jury declined to indict the former employees on felony charges, some of the parents of the children in the footage chose to file misdemeanor charges instead.

The videos were reportedly filmed in September 2022, before the daycare's owner found out about what had been happening at the facility.

Both McCandless and Kilburn pleaded no-contest and were sentenced to one year in jail and another year of probation, as well as each having to pay $5,000 in fines and register with the central registry so that they will be prohibited from working at a daycare facility in the future. Both are appealing their sentences.

Newman pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse with the other four counts remanded, and her six-month sentence was suspended, with her instead being ordered to attend parenting classes, register with central registry, as well as having a year of unsupervised probation, and pay a $1,187.75 fine.

Hutson also pleaded guilty to one count of simple assault against a minor and had her six-month jail sentence suspended, but must also register with the central registry and pay a fine of $2,337.75 as well as make a $1,000 donation to the Full Tummy Project.

Shelton's trial is set to go before a judge at a later date pending the conclusion of another court case.

A mother of one of the children who attends the daycare told ABC: "I hope you're enjoying jail and I hope you realize what you have done is serious. It is not a joke and it is nothing to laugh at."

Shiela Sanders, the owner of the daycare, revealed to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that the workers had been let go once she found out about the video.

She told the outlet: "I contacted my licensure, and she has gotten involved. The people that did those acts are no longer with us. They were fired.

"I wasn't here at the time and wasn't aware they were doing that. I don't condone that and never have. I just want to say it's been taken care of."

According to ABC News, the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Monroe County Sheriff's Office are also investigating the incident.

Featured image credit: Getty Images

Daycare workers who petrified children with Halloween masks punished in court

vt-author-image

By Kim Novak

Article saved!Article saved!

The daycare workers who were filmed terrifying children by wearing a Scream-style mask have stood trial in court this week.

Footage had gone viral of the young children crying, screaming, and running in fear as one of the workers creeped around the classroom at the Lil' Blessings Child Care and Learning Center in Hamilton, Mississippi.

In the video, which went public last October, the staff member in the mask could be heard shouting: "You best be good!", and "Clean up!", at the petrified kids.

Another employee can be seen telling the masked staff member which of the kids were good and bad, adding: "They're supposed to be cleaning up, monster!", as the masked employee gets up close to the faces of the crying children.

Five women have stood trial at Monroe County Justice Court on Friday in connection with the viral video, with Oci-Anna Kilburn, Sierra McCandless, and Jennifer Newman each facing five counts of child abuse, according to reports from WTVA, while Shyenne Shelton was charged with four counts of child abuse, and Traci Hutson with simple assault against a minor and failure to report abuse.

After a grand jury declined to indict the former employees on felony charges, some of the parents of the children in the footage chose to file misdemeanor charges instead.

The videos were reportedly filmed in September 2022, before the daycare's owner found out about what had been happening at the facility.

Both McCandless and Kilburn pleaded no-contest and were sentenced to one year in jail and another year of probation, as well as each having to pay $5,000 in fines and register with the central registry so that they will be prohibited from working at a daycare facility in the future. Both are appealing their sentences.

Newman pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse with the other four counts remanded, and her six-month sentence was suspended, with her instead being ordered to attend parenting classes, register with central registry, as well as having a year of unsupervised probation, and pay a $1,187.75 fine.

Hutson also pleaded guilty to one count of simple assault against a minor and had her six-month jail sentence suspended, but must also register with the central registry and pay a fine of $2,337.75 as well as make a $1,000 donation to the Full Tummy Project.

Shelton's trial is set to go before a judge at a later date pending the conclusion of another court case.

A mother of one of the children who attends the daycare told ABC: "I hope you're enjoying jail and I hope you realize what you have done is serious. It is not a joke and it is nothing to laugh at."

Shiela Sanders, the owner of the daycare, revealed to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that the workers had been let go once she found out about the video.

She told the outlet: "I contacted my licensure, and she has gotten involved. The people that did those acts are no longer with us. They were fired.

"I wasn't here at the time and wasn't aware they were doing that. I don't condone that and never have. I just want to say it's been taken care of."

According to ABC News, the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Monroe County Sheriff's Office are also investigating the incident.

Featured image credit: Getty Images