Daycare owner on trial for the alleged murder of 4-month-old baby

In the DeKalb County murder case against daycare operator Amanda Hickey, prosecutors are arguing over the inclusion of surveillance footage collected after the death of a four-month-old infant in 2021. A ruling on whether to exclude the video from the trial has yet to be made.

Hickey faces murder charges in connection with the infant’s death, who, according to investigators, was laid down for a nap on his stomach contrary to medical recommendations for a child of that age.

The video in question shows the child was left unsupervised for over two hours before being discovered. The trial is set to begin on July 5.

Hickey’s attorney filed a motion claiming that she was not informed of her rights or the nature of the investigation when officers responded to her home following a 911 call reporting the unresponsive child.

The filing alleges that Hickey was intimidated into complying with the officers’ demands, resulting in a violation of her 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

In response, DeKalb County prosecutors argue that Hickey had no reasonable expectation of privacy since her daycare business was operated from her home and subject to state regulations.

The prosecution contends that the state has the right to access records related to childcare, including video surveillance.

Furthermore, the prosecution claims that Hickey voluntarily cooperated with police, as evidenced by bodycam footage. According to the filing, Hickey invited detectives into her home, showed them the video recording system, and assisted with downloading the video. She also provided written consent for detectives to take the recording device to police headquarters for further assistance with the video download.

Prosecutors argue that even if they had not initially obtained the footage with Hickey’s consent, they would have eventually accessed it through the discovery process. Additionally, they maintain that Georgia law permits exceptions to privacy expectations in cases involving the unexpected or unexplained deaths of children under seven years old.

The outcome of this debate will determine whether the surveillance footage can be used as evidence in Hickey’s upcoming murder trial, potentially influencing the verdict.