So, I was in the awkward and unenviable position today to tell a woman she’s been indicted by a grand jury in the death of a little boy. I found out around 9:10 this morning that a grand jury had indicted the owner of the Yellow Brick Road Day Care on felony child neglect. It also upgraded the charge against the owner’s son to involuntary manslaughter. (The day care is where 13 month old Andrew Johnson was accidentally left in a van for 7 hours in 84 degree weather.)
Upon learning of the indictments, I immediately set out for the day care. I knew I was the only reporter who had a lead on this story and I quickly realized Valerot Whitlow probably did not know she was now charged with a crime. (I was right) So, I decided to call her cell. She answered and I went for it… “I’m sorry, but I have bad news for you. Valerot but you’ve been indicted by a grand jury for felony child neglect.” Now, It’s my job to get reaction and I hated having to tell her, but I also knew I had a responsibility to find out what was going on. Valerot was shocked and quickly got off the phone to call her attorney. I found out a few hours later that she’d turned herself into Richmond Police to be processed. This is such a tough story all around. You have a darling little boy that is gone and a tragic accident. Tough day. Tough choices. We’ll be following this case closely in the courts.