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Emily Welker, Published December 18 2013

Moorhead day care owner charged with watching kids while drunk to plead guilty

MOORHEAD – A 54-year-old Moorhead woman accused of being drunk while caring for children at her home day care business in October is expected to plead guilty in the case.

The defense attorney for Jayne Ann Cote said she has agreed to plead guilty to a count of gross misdemeanor child endangerment in a plea hearing set for Jan. 23 in Clay County District Court.

Cote was charged in October with four counts of gross misdemeanor child endangerment after the parent of one of the children reported to police he thought Cote was drinking on the job.

Two other charges will be dropped upon the plea being accepted, said de-fense attorney Jade Rosenfeldt. A fourth count was dismissed Nov. 7.

Rosenfeldt said the plea includes a fine for Cote, as well as a suspended jail sentence.

Court documents say Cote was losing her balance while trying to put an infant on a changing table at her home, walking around with her pants undone and had left cereal all over the floor.

Rosenfeldt said her client had been a professional day care provider for at least 25 years and received several letters of support from parents of children she had cared for in the past.

“She’s obviously – this has been a really difficult time for her,” said Rosenfeldt, who added Cote was not going to operate a child care center in the future.