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story.lead_photo.caption Melissa Garcia-Rivera

BENTONVILLE -- A July jury trial is scheduled for a Rogers baby sitter accused of causing the death of an 8-month-old girl.

Melissa Garcia-Rivera, 21, is charged with manslaughter. She previously pleaded not guilty.

Garcia-Rivera appeared in court Tuesday, and Circuit Judge Robin Green scheduled her jury trial to begin July 17.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for 8 a.m. July 16.

Garcia-Rivera was arrested Oct. 12.

The infant was dead when she was brought to Mercy Medical Center on Oct. 10, according to a probable cause affidavit. Medical staff told Larry Taylor, a Rogers Police Department detective, the girl's body had no obvious signs of injuries and the cause of death was unknown, according to the affidavit.

Marco Antonio Garcia, who is engaged to Garcia-Rivera, brought the girl to the hospital. He told police Garcia-Rivera baby-sits six children, including the 8-month-old, during the day.

Garcia said Garcia-Rivera woke him shortly after 1 p.m. Oct. 10 and told him the girl wasn't breathing. Garcia said he attempted CPR on the child but couldn't get her to breathe. Garcia said Garcia-Rivera was so panicked she couldn't call 911, according to the affidavit.

Police interviewed Garcia-Rivera, who said she was frustrated with the child, but didn't intentionally hurt her. Garcia-Rivera said she placed the baby in a toddler bed and put two pillows on the child when she was on her stomach. She said she left the baby for an hour, and, when she went back to check, the baby wasn't breathing, according to the affidavit.

Garcia-Rivera was being held in the Benton County Jail with a $50,000 bond set.

She faces from three to 10 years in prison if convicted of manslaughter.

NW News on 02/21/2018

Print Headline: Jury trial scheduled for baby sitter in child's death

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