Day Care Worker Guilty in Toddler's Death

Melissa Calusinski, 25, of Carpentersville, now faces up to life in prison for causing the death of 16-month-old Benjamin Kingan

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Melissa Calusinski

    A Lake County jury late Wednesday convicted a former Lincolnshire day care worker of first-degree murder in the 2009 death of a baby in her care.

    Melissa Calusinski, 25, of Carpentersville, now faces up to life in prison for causing the death of 16-month-old Benjamin Kingan at the Minee-Subee Day Care Center.

    She sat quietly as the guilty verdicts were read.

    Benjamin’s father, Andy Kingan, wept and shook his head as Calusinski was convicted, while Amy Kingan wiped tears away.

    Jurors reached the verdict after deliberating for fewer than seven hours. Two female jurors cried as they left the courtroom.

    Prosecutors said Calusinski threw the boy to the ground after having "issues" with the children in the room.

    Her defense team said the boy had been ill for weeks prior to the Jan. 14, 2009 incident.