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Day Care Operator Sentenced To 20 Years In Death Of Toddler

Last updated on Friday, May 25, 2018

(DANVILLE) - The former operator of a suburban Indianapolis in-home day care has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after a 16-month-old girl in her care died.

45-year-old Melanie Messer of Plainfield learned her punishment Thursday in Hendricks Superior Court after pleading guilty to aggravated battery in the death of Andi Arnett.

The child was found unresponsive at Messer's home on Aug. 8, 2016, and died three days later after surgery to relieve pressure on her brain. Court records say she suffered a massive brain hemorrhage and hemorrhages to her optic nerves and retinas in both eyes. Coroners later ruled the death a homicide.

The court gave Messer a 30-year sentence but suspended 10 years.

The child's grandmother, Lori Arnett, told WXIN-TV that she's thankful that justice is being served.

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