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Kansas court orders new trial in day care death

Published on -6/28/2013, 1:40 PM

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- The Kansas Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a former Wichita home day care provider in the 2008 strangulation death of a 13-month-old girl.

The court on Friday threw out the involuntary manslaughter conviction against Jessica Cummings. The court said it is firmly convinced that if the jury had been properly instructed, it would have reached a different verdict.

At issue in the appeal was the jury instruction about the standard of proof prosecutors needed for a conviction of endangering a child. The court said it was convinced jurors had applied a potential civil liability standard.

Evidence at Cummings' 2009 trial indicated the toddler slid down in the car seat where she was placed to sleep and was strangled by a strap.

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