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Arnold Granted Conditional Release

OSWEGO COUNTY, NY – The former daycare provider who was convicted of endangering the welfare of a child earlier this year has been released from the Oswego County jail.

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A file photo of Audrey Arnold as she entered court for sentencing in June.

Audrey Arnold, who was found guilty March 31 after a four-day trial, was sentenced to serve one year in jail June 3; convicted of causing injuries to Fajo Edward while he was in her care May 31, 2006. Fajo was three-months old at the time.

“She was released Sept. 12,” Oswego County Sheriff Reuel Todd confirmed this week.

Todd explained that a board from the state parole department is occasionally called to the county correctional facility to evaluate inmates for possible early release.

“We don’t have (a board) locally so the state does it,” Todd said. “They met with her and decided she should be released. … They sent me an order.

“I don’t have anything to do with it,” Todd noted.

Todd said that Arnold applied to the board to have her case evaluated. The order he received said that Arnold was grated “local conditional release” by the state board of parole, under the authority of New York State penal law and New York State executive law.

“She will be on parole until her time is served,” Todd said. “If she violates that in any way, shape or manner, she will have to come back to jail.”

Reached at home this morning, Arnold declined comment.

Contacted at home Tuesday evening, Fajo’s parents said it was the first time they had heard that Arnold was out of jail.

“We were never contacted,” Lizette Alvarado said. She declined to say more, leaving any further comment to Fajo’s father, Elroy Edwards.

Edwards said he was hesitant to believe Arnold had been released.

“I don’t believe that has happened,” Edward said late Tuesday evening. He said he planned to verify the information before discussing the matter further.

Oswego County District Attorney Donald Dodd, who prosecuted Arnold, also said Tuesday evening that it was the first he’d heard that Arnold had been released.

Dodd stressed, however, that the view of the victim should be taken into consideration in any review process for possible early release. When he learned that Alvarado and Edwards had not been contacted as part of Arnold’s review, Dodd did not mask his disappointment.

“That strikes me as fundamentally unfair,” Dodd said. “They should have been given notice.”

Dr. Wayne Farnsworth of Oswego Hospital’s emergency department testified that, in his opinion, Fajo suffered from Shaken Baby Syndrome.

The boy’s parents have explained that he is permanently disabled and will require life-long care. Two years after the day he was taken from Arnold‘s home-based daycare to the hospital, Fajo remained unable to crawl, talk or feed himself. He is blind and, according to some medical professionals, may not live to the age of 5, his mother said after the trial.

Arnold testified that she shook Fajo “gently,” and according to a “Shake and Shout” CPR procedure she learned. A CPR instructor testified for the prosecution that she had never heard of such a procedure.