Babysitter charged more than a year after toddler death

Published: May. 29, 2019 at 6:15 PM EDT
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When it occurred about a year ago, the death of 11-month-old Emma Grace was considered a tragedy.

As of Wednesday, it is being considered a violent crime.

“Our husbands worked together. That’s how we knew that she was able to help us out and watch Emma for us from time to time,” said Emma Grace’s mother, Sherry Leeman.

"She" is home day care operator Courtney Kincaid, who was watching Emma Grace in April of 2018 when the child suffered a head injury that left her brain dead. On Wednesday, Kincaid was charged with aggravated battery and child neglect resulting in death.

“This is somebody that we loved, we trusted, we considered friends. We went to their kids’ birthday parties, people we trusted, that there was just no way to see it coming,” Sherry Leeman said. “Picture your best friend killing your child. That's how I felt when I found out the truth.”

In April of 2018, the Leeman’s chose not to dwell on how it all happened but instead on how to make the best of a tragic situation. Emma Grace became an organ donor.

“And now, there is a little boy that has a liver and a little girl that has her heart, that's the same age as her, and an older woman, hopefully a grandma, that has her kidneys. So, life goes on, Emma's life goes on,” Sherry Leeman said.

On Wednesday, Sherry Leeman went to the Whitley County Jail just to be there as Courtney Kincaid was booked.

“Give us the peace. I don't wish her dead, I want her to miss her kids. That's what I want. The most I want her to know what it is like to miss her children. And she might just have a fraction of feeling of what I go through every day,” Sherry Leeman said.

Kincaid’s bond has been set at $200,000, or $20,000 cash. Kincaid ran an in-home day care in Whitley County, where the charges were filed.

The Leemans live in Kosciusko County.