Attorney George Bertram is not used to taking his cases to the media before he goes into the courtroom. But he will quickly tell you that the child abuse case against a local daycare worker warrants the action.
Bertram represents Diana Myers, the woman charged with first degree
criminal abuse, following an incident that local officials allege
occurred at a Monticello daycare. Since that time, a short 19 second
video taken at Wendy's Wonderland, where Myers was employed before
her arrest, has circulated via Facebook, media reports and other
According to the citation filed by the sheriff's department, Myers
allegedly had a two-year-old backed under a table and was shaking a
doll at the child, while the child was screaming.
Bertram contends that is not what happened at the daycare that day.
"We want the media to watch that video, pull it up...It's only 19
seconds long. If you pull up the video and watch it closely and
listen closely, two or three things become very obvious," Bertram
said during an interview last week. "First of all, the child is not
acting negatively to the doll, the child is not scared of the doll at
all, and the woman is singing to the child."
Bertram said that as the video ends, Myers states "well that didn't
"Essentially what you see is someone trying to soothe the child,"
said Bertram. "If a child is crying, you act silly, you sing a song,
you play with a doll."
Joseph Hoover, a private investigator in the case, stated that he
had interviewed numerous witnesses, including other workers at the
daycare, parents and grandparents. Several have stated the child had
played with the doll on many occassions.
Hoover said witnesses told him the doll in the video was the little
girl's favorite, and after the video was taken, she actually picked
up the doll.
In a statement released by Bertram last week, he notes that his
client has no criminal background whatsoever. "She has extensive
training in child care and she did nothing improper on the video or
otherwise regarding the incident on April 19," he stated.
He continued, "The news media has portrayed Mrs. Myers falsely and
defamed her perfect reputation based on a completely inadequate
investigation by local law enforcement officers. As a result, she has
received numerous death threats, her children have been harassed and
she has been prevented from worker in child care."
Bertram said that state officials came to the daycare and did their
own investigation after the incident. Bertram stated that they
performed their inspection and advised that there was nothing to meet
their criteria to open an investigation.
Myers is scheduled to be arraigned in Wayne District Court on
Monday, May 13, and Bertram has asked that the preliminary hearing in
the case also be held that day.
Bertram said he wanted to court to carefully view the 19 second
video as part of his defense case. Hoover will also testify
regarding the interviews that he has conducted in regard to the
"I am going to ask that all charges be dismissed because there is no probable cause," stated Bertram.