JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- What happened in May at Kiddie Heaven day care changed the lives of two families forever.
"I remember the officers that were here being very human with us," said Jan Buchanan, the woman charged with aggravated manslaughter in the death of 2-year-old Steven Spurlock II. "Kind, but ultimately I remember the lost of baby Steven that day."
Buchanan operated the child care facility and said it was loved by the parents and the children.
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"He (Steven) was my Tarzan. He was like one of my grand kids. I loved him just as much and he loved me," she said.
Buchanan was taking care of seven children in her home. They had just left the pool, she said, and Steven was the last one out.
"I made mistakes that day," said Buchanan. "I know that I made mistakes that day."
She lost sight of two-year-old Steven for several minutes.
Buchanan said the door was double locked, she did not activate the upper lock that day.
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"I use it all the time but because I was going to go back out. I didn't that day and it made all the difference in the world," she said. "It changed so many lives, that one choice I will have to live with that until I'm not living anymore."
She found the toddler in the pool and gave him CPR until EMS arrived
"I never would have hurt that baby for anything. I wish that he was here with us still and always will," she said.
Buchanan, a woman of faith, said the Spurlock's forgave her.
"They were Christ like," she said.
On November 20, Buchanan plead guilty to culpable negligence.
Whitney Lonker is the attorney that represented her.
"This case was a terrible terrible accident and there will be lives forever affected by it," said Lonker.
Lonker said the parents trusted Buchanan, they knew she was in the process of getting her day care license, she was in step four of a five step process.
"The kids all loved being here and the parents were very happy with the care that I provided," said Buchanan.
Buchanan said she wants the public to know and to understand that was a horrific accident and if it wasn't for the parents support and her faith she would not have made it this far.
"They missed that I am not a monster," she said. "I am a human being capable of love and the events of that day created a tragedy."
As part of or sentence, Buchanan has to donate $2,000 a year for the next 10 years towards pool safety education, she can never own a daycare, she has to serve two days a year in jail during the next 10 years, the day Steven Spurlock was born December 9 and the day he died was May 24.
First Coast News