Ohio day care operator fined in drugged kids case

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio day care worker accused of sprinkling drugs on snacks to get children to sleep has been fined $250 and had her 180-day jail sentence suspended after a plea deal.

Tammy Eppley of suburban Columbus entered an Alford plea Monday on a misdemeanor count of child endangering. That means the 38-year-old Westerville woman doesn't admit guilt but acknowledges prosecutors could probably prove the charge.

Defense attorney Clay Lopez says Eppley maintains her innocence but feared she could face a longer sentence if she was convicted at trial.

Police have said they obtained text messages in which Eppley acknowledged giving children the allergy drug Benadryl and the hormone and sleep aid melatonin.

Five more counts were dismissed under the plea deal in Franklin County Municipal Court.