Lawyer for daycare operator charged with abuse says police 'misled' her

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REPUBLIC, Mo. (KSPR) -- Attorneys for both the family of a baby injured when he was eight months old and the owner of a child care center in Republic reacted on Thursday to the day care owner's arrest.

Samantha Dillbeck (Photo: GCSO)

Samantha Dillbeck, 28, is the owner of M&M Daycare. Dillbeck was charged on Wednesday with child abuse, which is a felony. She is scheduled to appear next in court on July 20..

"We just worry about that baby and then we worry about if she would do anything to any other little child that might be within her reach," said neighbor Connie Boatright.

Connie Boatright lives across the street from Dillbeck, where police believe baby Grayson Barnhart was somehow hurt on March 21.

"This is a good neighborhood and I never would've thought that something would've happened to a baby," Boatright said.

Boatright is relieved to hear the Barnhart family's attorney said Grayson can once again see out of both his eyes.

"He still has some fluid on the brain that has not dissipated. He is scheduled to see a child abuse doctor in Kansas City in 30 days," said Joshua Roberts, who represents the Barnharts.

The probable cause statement used as the basis of the charge says Mercy Hospital medical staff found Grayson had an injury from being shaken.

"This is a family of strong faith and they attribute this as kind of a miracle. This baby was in a very, very dire situation," Roberts said.

Dillbeck's previous attorney sent KSPR News a letter, which in part said "law enforcement has from the beginning ignored information which would exonerate her."

On Thursday, Dillbeck's current defense attorney, Dee Wampler, said law enforcement has missed some evidence.

"I don't want to get into all the false information and facts because that would be trying the case," said Wampler. "She feels like she's been misled because she was asked to cooperate."

Dillbeck was pregnant when police said Grayson was hurt. Her baby was born about a month ago. When she was charged on Wednesday, a judge said she couldn't have unsupervised contact with children, including her own. After a hearing on Thursday morning, her bond conditions were modified so she can be around her newborn child.

"They had requested a bond provision she not be around any children under the age of 17 and she has children. She's a nursing mother," Wampler said.

As for baby Grayson, Boatright said she and others will continue to pray "for him to get back to being a little normal baby without any complications or anything. We just want him to be healthy, little bouncing baby."

The Barnharts are overwhelmed with the support they have heard for Grayson during this tough time for the family. With Dillbeck's court dates months away, they haven't said if they will consider attending every court appearance.