Employee of Speedway day care found guilty in death of 10-month-old girl

Karen Tharpe

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An employee of a Speedway day care was found guilty of reckless supervision by a child care provider Tuesday.

Karen Tharpe’s conviction comes after 10-month-old Taliah Brigham was found unconscious in her car seat at Miracles and Blessings Daycare and later died at Riley Hospital for Children.

Tharpe is accused of leaving one of the car seat’s buckle undone and leaving the infant unattended for at least five minutes.

“As a consequence, the infant slid down in the seat and was strangled by the chest buckle,” said Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry.

The business’ owner, Jacqueline Murray, is also facing charges. Court documents show she left Tharpe alone at the facility for a significant amount of time with 36 children spread out in three rooms.

“I certainly anticipate that every parent who would bring their child to any day care would be appalled to find out that one person was in charge of 36 children,” said Curry.

Just days after the infant’s death, the state issued an emergency letter to decertify the business and claimed the death was due to a lack of supervision. The day care shut down in April, following the loss of state certification which stripped the business of federal vouchers.

Murray was set to have a jury trial Monday, but it was canceled. She’ll now face a bench trial on Sept. 28.

Tharpe will be sentenced on Sept. 29.