Daycare center owner convicted of killing toddler in 2011 sentenced to life in prison

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ATLANTA, GA (WGCL) — A woman convicted of killing a toddler in her care at a daycare facility in 2011 has been sentenced to life in prison.

Maria Owens, 51, was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of the murder of Jaylen Kelly, just days before the toddler’s first birthday.

The incident took place on June 1, 2011 at the daycare facility Owens owned in Fulton County.

Owens was informed by Kelly’s parents that they were going to pull Jaylen and his sister out of the center to be placed in a “more structured daycare environment.”

About an hour later, Owens called Jaylen’s parents to inform them he was not breathing. He was flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-Egleston where he later passed away.

During the autopsy, it was determined that Jaylen’s back was fractured, and he lost nearly half of his blood volume.

Owens was convicted of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, and first-degree cruelty to children. She was sentenced to life behind bars.

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