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Clear Lake woman accused of child endangerment at child care enters Alford plea

CLEAR LAKE — A Clear Lake woman accused of child endangerment stemming from incidents that allegedly happened at her unregistered daycare has entered an Alford plea to the charges.

A criminal complaint says a three-year-old boy left in the care of 59-year-old Peggy McLaughlin and her late husband Kyle McLaughlin went home in December 2016 with a welt and bruise on his lower back. He told his mother that Kyle McLaughlin had spanked him. The complaint says Peggy McLaughlin later told the mother that her husband had “swatted” the boy and another child and said it wouldn’t happen again. 

Another criminal complaint says a 20-month-old girl suffered a fractured leg at the home in August 2017 and the McLaughlins didn’t seek medical assistance for her. 

Peggy McLaughlin was charged with one count of child endangerment. Court documents show that she filed an Alford plea in Cerro Gordo County District Court on Tuesday. With an Alford plea, a person does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a likely conviction.

Prosecutors will be requesting a suspended sentence and suspended fine, while McLaughlin is requesting a deferred judgment and suspended civil penalty. A sentencing date had not yet been set.

Kyle McLaughlin had been charged with two counts of child endangerment. He died on May 7th of last year.

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