11/02/2012 06:40 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Erin Jackman Charged For Mercedes Pepper's Death: Criminal Negligence Charges For Day Home Operator

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. - A former day home operator in southern Alberta who caused the death of a toddler in her care has been sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison.

Erin Jackman, who is 26, pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing the death of 19-month-old Mercedes Pepper in July 2010.

Judge Dietrich Brand said he took into account Jackman's remorse and the fact she had no prior criminal record.

But Brand said he held Jackman to a higher standard because she was in a position of trust.

Jackman sat next to her sister at the defence table in court and was slumped over while the judge read his decision.

The family of the little girl, who died of massive trauma, cried during sentencing.

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