Former Williston daycare provider sentenced to 6 years in prison, plans to appeal verdict

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 3:23 PM CST
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WILLISTON, N.D. (KUMV) - A former Williston daycare provider was found guilty five months ago of harming a baby. On Thursday, she was in court for sentencing.

In March of 2019, Corey Gardner, an unlicensed daycare provider, was arrested for child abuse. Police say a two-month-old baby in her care had sustained several injuries including brain bleeding, lack of oxygen to the brain and bone fractures. A jury found Gardner guilty in July, pushing assistant state’s attorney Nathan Madden to request the maximum sentence of 10 years.

“She sentenced [the baby] to a lifetime of issues and complications that will stem from this,” said Madden.

Gardner’s attorney, Steven Mottinger argued that the maximum is too much, calling Gardner “a good citizen and a great mother.” In a brief statement, Gardner apologized to the family, but did not claim guilt.

“I’m not asking for forgiveness, but I want them to know that I always cared, regardless of what they think,” said Gardner.

Judge Paul Jacobson agreed with Madden that Gardner’s actions were a “gross violation of trust,” but also sided with Mottinger on the sentence. Gardner was ordered to serve 6 years in prison with 5 years of probation.

Gardner will also have to pay restitution to the family and register as an “Offender Against Children.”

Gardner, Mottinger and Madden said that the two-month-old baby is making a remarkable recovery and are thankful for it.

Mottinger told the judge they plan on appealing the guilty verdict, citing inconsistencies with the baby’s injuries.