More abuse claims for Dunwoody day care owner charged with murder

Amanda Harris Hickey, 45, of Dunwoody, was arrested and charged with murder after an infant died at her home day care service.
Amanda Harris Hickey, 45, of Dunwoody, was arrested and charged with murder after an infant died at her home day care service.

Credit: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

Credit: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

A Dunwoody day care owner charged with murder in the death of a 4-month-old boy also abused other infants in her care, according to a DeKalb County prosecutor.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Tabitha Pazmino said Amanda Hickey picked up babies by one leg, threw one baby to the floor and pulled another infant’s hair. When the infants cried, Hickey walked out of the room, Pazmino said during a bond hearing Thursday.

“We don’t know the full extent of injuries and how many have been harmed,” Pazmino said.

ExploreState moves to close Dunwoody day care after 4-month-old’s death

But Hickey’s attorney, Tracy Reeves, said Hickey had run the Little Lovey day care in the basement of her home for 10 years, had no criminal history and was well-respected in her community. Reeves asked that bond be set at $200,000. Several friends and neighbors spoke in support of Hickey.

After seeing a short video of Hickey with the babies in her care, Superior Court Judge Stacey Hydrick denied bond for the 45-year-old. Hickey has been in the DeKalb jail since Feb. 5, two days after the baby died, according to investigators.

Police reports state that Hickey put the baby face-down for a nap and didn’t check on him for more than 2½ hours Feb. 3. She was licensed to care for six children, but investigators said there were eight in her home that day.

The baby was on his stomach and unresponsive when Hickey returned to check on him, according to investigators. The baby died the same day.

The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning temporarily shut down the day care center after the boy’s death.

Hickey was charged with murder and cruelty to children in the second degree. After reviewing video from inside the day care in the hours before the baby’s death, four additional cruelty to children charges were added, Pazmino said.

Pazmino said the parents of other children seen in the video are having them evaluated by doctors, and additional charges are possible.

ExploreState closes Dunwoody day care after death of 4-month-old

The mother of the baby who died also spoke during the virtual hearing, talking through tears as her husband patted her back.

“I am now living in a nightmare because I trusted someone who lied and lied and still thinks she is innocent,” the woman said. “We’ve been robbed of the greatest thing that ever happened to us.”

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