A babysitter who left twin toddlers unsupervised before they drowned in a swimming pool has avoid prison.
Jennifer Salley, 37, owner of OM Baby Childcare in West Knoxville, Tennessee, pleaded guilty to two counts of criminally negligent homicide in court this week.
She was caring for Elijah and Elyssa Orejuela at her home on July 20, 2018, when she left the nearly two year old tots unattended.
The children managed to get out of the bedroom to the pool, and when Salley came back she found them floating and unconscious.
She called the emergency services who rushed to the scene at Salley’s in-home Om Baby daycare, Knox News reports.
But sadly it was too late.
Elyssa was pronounced dead on the same day, while Elijah remained on life support for two days before passing away on July 22.
Salley had already been ordered to stop operating the business at the time of the tragic incident, following a number of complaints against her including misleading advertisements, allegations of payment in pain medication, the smell of faeces at the property and poor supervision.
She did not have custody of her own children at the time of the twins’ tragic drowning.
Following her conviction on Wednesday, the defendant was given four years supervised probation, at the request of the victims’ family.
Elijah and Elyssa’s parents released a statement which said: “There is no punishment for Jennifer Salley that could or would ever equal the suffering our family will endure the rest of our lives due to her criminal conduct.
“‘No amount of jail time would turn back time. It wouldn’t bring Elyssa back. It wouldn’t bring Elijah back. It would not bring their laughs back.”
Salley has since left Tennessee and relocated to Texas, according to Mail Online.
The family filed a federal lawsuit against Salley claiming that unsafe conditions and her lack of supervision led to the twins’ deaths, WVLT8 reports.
The twins were unsupervised for so long, the suit said, that they managed to leave a bedroom, then the house, before getting into a pool.
The suit is asking for $17.48 (£13.53) million in compensatory damages.