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Midlothian day care owner sentenced for not having license

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (AP) - The owner of a day care where a fire fatally injured a child has been sentenced for operating the facility illegally.

Media outlets report that 46-year-old Laurie F. Underwood of Midlothian pleaded guilty on Tuesday to operating the in-home day care without a state license. Chesterfield General District Court Judge James O'Connell sentenced Underwood to a year in jail and then suspended four months of the term.

Underwood was caring for eight children in her home on Oct. 21, 2014, when the fire occurred. One-year-old Joseph Matthew Allen died the next day from injuries suffered in the fire.

Fire officials have said the fire was caused by a trash bag containing fire pit ashes that had been placed in the home's garage.

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