4 women charged with 5-year-old's death free on $20K bond - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

4 women charged with 5-year-old's death free on $20K bond

(Clockwise): Washington, Phillips, Robinson, and Taylor (Source: West Memphis PD) (Clockwise): Washington, Phillips, Robinson, and Taylor (Source: West Memphis PD)
WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC) -

Four women, formerly employed by Ascent Children's Health Services, who are charged with leaving a 5-year-old in a hot van faced a judge Monday.

Christopher Gardner was left in a hot daycare van for hours, going unnoticed by the four women who were trusted to care for him.

Felicia Phillips was the van's driver, Pamela Robinson was the adult rider, Kendra Washington was assigned to do a secondary check of the bus, and Wanda Taylor signed Gardner into Ascent despite never seeing him. All four women were freed on $20,000 bonds on Monday.

Gardner's family was largely present in the courtroom Monday as the four women stood before a judge.

The family scurried out of the courtroom after the hearing. No words were exchanged between Gardner's parents and the four women charged in his death.

It's a death that West Memphis Police Department said could have been prevented if the women had done their jobs.

The women are charged with manslaughter. All but Robinson had attorneys with them in court.

"They need to explain why and how they let this happen to my child," Gardner's mother, Ashley Smith, said.

The family hired attorney Randy Fishman to file a civil lawsuit against Ascent Children's Health Services.

"There's no excuse. Somebody gonna be punished," grandmother Carrie Smith said. "Justice got to be done."

The women are scheduled to appear back in court July 31.

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