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Daycare Workers Who Terrified Children With Halloween Masks Punished In Court

Jul 12, 2023

Five women stood trial in Monroe County Justice Court on Friday in connection with a viral video showing children being scared by someone wearing a mask at a daycare in Amory, Mississippi.

After a grand jury declined to indict the former employees of the daycare on felony charges some of the parents whose children attended Lil’ Blessings Child Care and Learning Center in Hamilton filed misdemeanor charges.

The incident, which showed children crying in terror, garnered national media attention last October after a trio of videos made the rounds on social media, showing an employee at the daycare running around the building in an off-brand "Scream" mask.

In the footage, the masked employee chases after the children, shouting, "You best be good!" and "Clean up!" at them as they run, hide and cry in sheer terror. Another employee can be seen telling their masked coworker which kids were good or bad -- at one point telling her, "They're supposed to be cleaning up, monster!"

The unmasked employee can be seen laughing as well, as the children cry and scream hysterically -- while the one in the mask gets right up in the sobbing kids' faces.

The videos were reportedly filmed in September 2022 before the owner of the daycare found out about them.

Oci-Anna Kilburn, Sierra McCandless and Jennifer Newman were each facing five counts of child abuse, per WTVA, while Shyenne Shelton had been charged with four counts and Traci Hutson with simple assault against a minor and failure to report abuse.

Both McCandless and Kilburn plead no-contest and were sentenced almost a year after the incident on Friday to one year in jail and another year of probation. They also must each pay $5,000 in fines and register with central registry so that they cannot work at a daycare facility in the future.

Both women are appealing their sentences.

Newman, meanwhile, plead guilty to one count of child abuse and the other four counts were remanded. Additionally, her sixth month sentence was suspended. Instead, Newman must attend parenting classes, register with central registry and was given a year of unsupervised probation. Her fines amount to $1,187.75.

Hutson also plead guilty to one count of simple assault against a minor. The court suspended her sixth month jail sentence and ordered her to donate $1,000 to Full Tummy Project, register with the central registry and pay a fine of $2,337.75.

However, Shelton's trial is pending the conclusion of another court case, and will go before a judge at a later date.

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