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February 24, 2024
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Mineral Point babysitter faces homicide charge in death of 4-month-old – Madison.com

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A Mineral Point woman charged in April with felony neglect in the death of a 4-month-old boy now faces a homicide charge in the case as well as other felonies for leaving that child and other young children unattended at her home-based day care on two days in February.
JoAnna M. Ford, 29, was charged Tuesday with first-degree reckless homicide in the March 1 death of Wyatt Hamlin, whom Ford had left with other children while she went to an appointment at a tattoo and piercing shop on Feb. 25, according to a criminal complaint.
Ford
A nurse practitioner determined that Wyatt’s cause of death was “physical abuse in the form of abusive head trauma” that happened the day he was under Ford’s care, the complaint states. It alleges that Wyatt was left alone with other children for about an hour and a half, and when Ford got back, she texted his mother with concerns about Wyatt’s health.
It does not contain information pointing to who might have caused Wyatt’s injuries but details an April 8 interview by county officials of an 11-year-old who reported being “afraid to go home due to Ford and an aunt saying something about (the 11-year-old) hurting a baby.”
Circuit Judge Margaret Koehler decided there was enough to proceed with the reckless homicide and five child neglect charges against Ford during a preliminary hearing Tuesday in which a pathologist and state Department of Justice investigator testified and an autopsy was submitted into evidence, according to online court records. Ford remains free on $10,000 bond.
Wyatt
According to the criminal complaint:
Wyatt’s mother, Kayla Case, dropped her son off for day care at Ford’s house on Fair Street in Mineral Point around 7:15 a.m. on Feb. 25. Case told officers Wyatt was awake and smiling. There were no issues when he was dropped off.
Ford told police she was the only adult at the home after her husband left around 8:30 a.m. She told officers she was providing child care for Wyatt and a 1½-year-old. Also at the home were her children, an 11-year-old stepchild, an 8-year-old and a 6-year-old.
Ford said the 11-year-old and 8-year-old left the residence around 11 a.m. to go to friends’ houses. But Mineral Point police said an investigation showed that the 11-year-old was at the home until 4 p.m.
That morning, Ford texted someone saying that she had “an appointment at 2 in Dodgeville,” according to a police review of her cellphone.
Staff at Vibe Body Art, a tattoo and piercing shop in Dodgeville, told police that Ford was at the shop for an appointment that day from around 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Video surveillance showed she was at the business until 3:21 p.m. Around 3:25 p.m., she texted the same person saying she was “headed home now.”
From about 3:30 p.m. to 4:25 p.m., Ford sent multiple texts and videos to Case about how Wyatt was doing, according to the phone review. Ford had become concerned about Wyatt’s condition.
“I would take him in. He’s starting to scare me right now,” Ford said in the texts. “This isn’t making sense. He was totally fine this morning.”
Case told police the videos showed her son breathing quickly in a way that she had not seen before. Case said she knew something was wrong, and asked Wyatt’s father, William Hamlin, to pick him up right away.
Hamlin picked Wyatt up and brought him home, but took him to Upland Hills Health Health Hospital shortly after because he was “not looking right,” police said.
Doctors determined that Wyatt’s brain was swelling and had him taken to UW Hospital by Med Flight. He died a few days later.
The updated complaint also contains three felony neglect charges pertaining to Wyatt, and a 5-year-old girl and her nearly 2-year-old brother, whom Ford also allegedly left without any adult supervision on Feb. 25 when Wyatt was injured.
Two other felony neglect charges and one misdemeanor neglect charge in the complaint pertain to Wyatt, his 3-year-old brother and the nearly 2-year-old boy stem from an incident on Feb. 1 when Ford allegedly spent more than three hours at a Dodgeville Walmart while the children were left without any adult supervision at her home
The other children allegedly left unattended were not injured.
Koehler on Tuesday dismissed the charge pertaining to the nearly 2-year-old boy in the Feb. 1 incident.
The Mineral Point Masonic Lodge, the left side of the building constructed in 1897 and the right side in 1908, is hosting the Arts Mineral Point Member Art Show.
The Mineral Point Masonic Lodge is among the scores of historic buildings in the city.
Katie White, co-owner of the Globe Clay Center in Mineral Point, crafted this clay vase that resembles a pine cone for the Arts Mineral Point Member Art Show at the Mineral Point Masonic Lodge. The sixth annual art show runs Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and concludes Saturday with a show from 2-6 p.m.
Ried Knapp, president of Arts Mineral Point, stands in the exhibit space for the 6th annual Arts Mineral Point Member Art Show at the Mineral Point Masonic Lodge.
Brian Stuart’s portrait of George Bernard Shaw is among the entries in the Arts Mineral Point Member Art Show.
The work of Lesley Macaulay in the Arts Mineral Point Member Art Show.
Richard Moninski used camouflage paper for these paintings that are part of the Arts Mineral Point Member Art Show.
A painting of a sunrise by Brian Stuart hangs in contrast to the intricate wood door in the Mineral Point Masonic Lodge that is hosting the Arts Mineral Point Member Art Show.
A ceramic polar bear by Janice Johnson and a horse by Elizabeth Carter share a pedestal in the Mineral Point Masonic Lodge for the Arts Mineral Point Member Art Show.
Mineral Point metal artist, Evan Lewis, submitted this salmon-shaped weather vane that serves as one of the centerpieces of the Arts Mineral Point Member Art Show. Lewis’ work can be found around the world.
Larry Schultz of Milton is known for his cows but one of his pieces in the Arts Mineral Point Member Art Show is a painting of a woman feeding ducks.
Entries by Renee Klufan in the Arts Mineral Point Member Art Show.
The hall at the Mineral Point Masonic Lodge hosts the Arts Mineral Point Member Art Show.
Joelle White’s work includes ceramic vases that resemble softball-sized puff balls. White is the twin sister of Katie White who also has artwork in this year’s Arts Mineral Point Member Art Show at the Mineral Point Masonic Lodge. The Whites, owners of the Globe Clay Center, were assistants to Bruce Howdle and took over his studio space following his death in 2018.
Bruce Howdle, a beloved Mineral Point clay and ceramic artist, died in 2018 but one of his pieces is included in this year’s Arts Mineral Point Member Art Show.
Entries in the Arts Mineral Point Member Art Show.
Lois Hall, who has a studio in the Arts Mineral Point Cannery Incubator, submitted a painting of a two horses running through the snow and another, titled “Redemption,” of a snow-covered woods and fence at Mineral Point’s Merry Christmas Mine, home to walking trails and a prairie. The painting was most recently seen on the cover of the Voice of the River Valley, a Spring Green publication that celebrates the Drifitless Area arts scene. Hall told the Voice that her husband was the inspiration for the painting.
Entries in the Arts Mineral Point Member Art Show.
Ried Knapp, president of Arts Mineral Point, looks over the hall in the Mineral Point Masonic Lodge that is hosting the 6th Arts Mineral Point Member Art Show. New LED lighting installed last year in the historic fixtures help illuminate the art. The hall will also host the finished pieces of the 8th annual Paint the Point, a plein air painting event scheduled for this August.
Gerald Glaeve’s entries in the Arts Mineral Point Member Art Show include water color and acrylic work on Arches paper, a historic brand of air-dried paper popular with artists who paint, draw and write. One of Glaeve’s pieces, at right, is titled “Luna and the Yellow Bird” and another, “Park Bench Gossip,” seen on the left.
The mosaic floor entry way at the Mineral Point Masonic Lodge.
Luminaries made of ice and illuminated with candles will line the streets of Mineral Point on Valentines Day night. The fourth annual Ice Lantern Festival is designed to bring people to the community to shop and take in the historic buildings.
Luminaries made of ice and illuminated with candles will line the streets of Mineral Point on Valentines Day night. The fourth annual Ice Lantern Festival is designed to bring people to the community to shop and take in the historic buildings.
Luminaries made of ice and illuminated with candles will line the streets of Mineral Point on Valentines Day night. The fourth annual Ice Lantern Festival is designed to bring people to the community to shop and take in the historic buildings.
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A woman was arrested Thursday for neglect after a four-month-old baby died from injuries police say the child sustained while in the woman’s care. 

The woman left the baby unattended in Iowa County while she went to an appointment at a tattoo and piercing shop, the criminal complaint alleges. 
Ford
Wyatt
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