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Mistrial declared in case against babysitter in Norfolk

Jurors couldn't decide on a verdict in the child neglect case against Jessica Cherry, a day care provider. A 1-year-old girl was hurt while Cherry was watching her.

NORFOLK, Va. — A Norfolk Circuit Court judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in a child neglect case against Jessica Anne Cherry.

Cherry was a babysitter who was caring for a 1-year-old girl in June 2018 when the girl was hurt seriously.

Cherry initially faced a charge of Aggravated Malicious Wounding. That charge was amended to Child Neglect.

The jury, made up of seven men and five women, told Judge Everett Martin it was deadlocked after hours of deliberation. The jurors heard the case in Norfolk Circuit Court Tuesday and began deliberations Tuesday afternoon.

Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney Ramin Fatehi said his office plans to retry the case. Martin will work with the prosecution and defense to set a new trial date.

Credit: Norfolk Sheriff's Office
Jessica Anne Cherry

In addition to this case, there are two others against Cherry.

She faces a charge of Second Degree Murder related to the death of a 2-year-old girl on August 18, 2020.

The girl was unconscious at a home in the 1300 block of Jennifer St. Medics took her to Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters where she died.

Police arrested Cherry a month later. At that time, officers said Cherry faced charges that weren't related to the 2-year-old girl's death. Instead, the charges were related to "criminal activity" at the home on Jennifer Street.

The murder charge came months after the girl died, after the medical examiner' office determined that the girl had been killed.

The online court system shows Cherry also faces a charge of Malicious Wounding. That's related to an incident from January 16, 2020. Police just arrested her on the Malicious Wounding charge on February 20, 2022.

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