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Baby Sitter Ruling

A state appeals court says baby sitters under 18 can be held criminally responsible for the death of a child intheir care.

The court is rejecting arguments from a Milwaukee teenager found
guilty of child neglect.

Marketta Hughes was 17 when she agreed to sit for a one-year-old
boy. The child died after she repeatedly hit him and spun him around in
the air. An autopsy showed the boy died of blunt force trauma.

Hughes pleaded guilty to child neglect resulting in death and
was sentenced to six years in prison. She later asked the appeals
court if she could withdraw her plea because she was a minor at the
time of the crime.

The appeals court notes that lawmakers removed an 18-year-old
age restriction from criminal statutes in 1987.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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