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Plea deal reached in infant daycare van death

The co-owner of Ewing’s Love and Hope Daycare Center on Lenox Avenue was charged with aggravated manslaughter after an infant died in a hot van.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The video associated with this story is from an earlier report. 

A daycare director charged with aggravated manslaughter after an infant died in his daycare van has reached a plea deal.

According to a disposition hearing Tuesday morning, Darryl Ewing, 58, has negotiated a plea deal that both the State Attorney’s Office and the family of the child have agreed on.

The specifics of the plea, including exactly what Ewing will plead to or what punishment he may receive, were not discussed. However, jail time does not appear to be part of the deal.

Circuit Judge Gilbert Feltel asked Ewing’s attorney Debra Billard “whether there is any custodial aspect as part of the plea agreement?”

“No, your honor,” she said.

The deal has been in the works at least since early March, according to court records. 

“We have been negotiating and emailing back and forth and we have arrived at a plea,” Billard said Tuesday. “[Ewing is] in agreement, the state’s in agreement, the victim's family is in agreement.”

First Coast News reached out to the State Attorney’s Office for details of the plea agreement.

Ewing was arrested in May 2019 when a 4-month-old girl died after being left in a van at a Westside daycare back in May.

According to a GoFundMe page posted at the time by the girl’s mother, Lancia Isaac, the child’s name was Brooklyn. 

“Her life was abruptly ended after she was left in a child care van for hours,” Isaac wrote. “The team of doctors and nurses did everything in their power to save my beautiful baby girl but she couldn't be revived. The tragedy has left our city outraged and full of sorrow. My family is in shambles and with so many unanswered questions.”

According to police, the infant and several other children were picked up at their homes on the morning of May 22, 2019. Ewing, who was driving the van, arrived at the daycare about 8:25 a.m. The other children were taken inside, but the infant was left behind, still strapped in her car seat in the van’s third row.

Temperatures reached the low-‘90s that day. The girl’s absence wasn’t noticed until about 1 p.m. when her mother called to make after-school arrangements. At that point, the child was not responsive.

According to our news partners the Florida Times-Union, Ewing refused to talk with detectives and was booked into jail that night. His arrest report indicated “he wanted to harm himself.”

Ewing has three prior arrests for driving with a suspended license, according to jail records. His wife and co-owner of the child care facility, Gloryian Ewing, also was arrested in December 2017 on two counts of child abuse, unrelated to the daycare.

The daycare’s business’ license was suspended after the incident. First Coast News has reached out to the state Department of Children and Families to get updated information on its status.