Charging the Nanny in Girls' Tragic Drowning Won't Make Anyone Feel Better

This is a tragic story that has no satisfactory ending all the way around. A 58-year-old nanny in Dallas, Georgia, was arrested after she had a long phone call. During the 45 minutes she was on the phone, the two 5-year-old girls she was charged with babysitting got into the pool in the backyard and both drowned. This is horrible enough, but one of the girls was also her grandchild.

It was the father of one of the girls, who was out with the girl's mother doing errands when the tragedy happened, who looked at phone records and determined that the nanny, Marta Corvi, had been on the phone with a friend at the time the girls drowned.

Corvi has been charged with reckless conduct, which is a misdemeanor. I'd be surprised if she spends any time at all in jail. Should she? While no doubt it is terribly irresponsible to not pay attention to two such young girls while on the phone, surely this was a horrible accident, and the woman is probably feeling awful. Children can move quickly and get into trouble very quickly. She is not the only adult who has made a bad judgment call. Do the parents bear any responsibility for not having a pool cover?

I can't imagine what the parents of the little girls are going through, but I can't imagine what Corvi is going through either. This is just awful in every which way. It's one of those things where the punishment, even if it means no jail time, will be bad enough because two little girls have lost their lives, and two families have been destroyed.

Should Marta Corvi serve jail time?


Image via Paulding County Sheriff's Office

in the news, death, crime


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nonmember avatar Tami

This was a horrible tragedy resulting from negligence on many levels. At five, why didn't the girls know how to swim? Why wasn't the pool secure? And of course, why wasn't Grandma watching the kids? As far as I'm concerned the parents, the pool owner ( was it one of the sets of parents or the grandmother) and of course the grandmother are all at fault to a degree. But charging her will serve no purpose. Her grandchild is dead and she's to blame. Nothing's worse than that. This happened to a child in my town. Grandma was never charged, but the guilt she lived with was unbearable.

Tracey Plummer

I think she is responsible. This was not an accident. This was someone who was not watching the kids in her care. I used to babysit all the time, and I talked on the phone while I did it, but I never quit watching the kids just because I was on the phone, just like I can talk on the phone and watch my kid all at the same time now. It's just not that hard. She was negligent and now two little girls are gone. I'm sure she feels terrible, but this IS her fault.

nonmember avatar Lilac

45 minutes! For 45 Minutes she never wondered or cared where the two little girls she was suppose to be watching were? She never thought it was odd the house was so quiet? Heck yes she should be charged with criminal neglect/ homicide. I'm sorry but is isn't one of those "looked away for a second" tragedies. 45 minutes.

Jespren Jespren

This is actually a tough call for me. Nannies, babysitters, and other caregivers have a different expectation than parents. For a parent taking care of the kids is a part of life, and other parts of life intrude and you know your kids well enough to make certain expectations on their behavior. Sometimes you're wrong, but it's not neglegent for a mom/dad to leave a couple of kids playing to talk on the phone, cook dinner, or pay bills. But a nanny/babysitter is at their *job*. Raising the kids isn't a part of their life, it's their work. It would be wildly inappropriate to take a long personal call at pretty much *any* job. Focusing on your personal life to the exclusion of your paid job *is* neglegence. Now, whether it rises to the level of criminal? I'd really have to know more about the situation to make that determination.

Water... Water_geM

she was paid to watch those girls,not talk on the phone.

she was on the  phone for almost an hour.

she should be charged.

nonmember avatar Shelly

YES!!! Of course, she should be charged. She made a stupid, selfish decision...that resulted in the deaths of two children. How could they not charge her?

TXMom... TXMommy39

I am guessing that in this day and age that she was on a cordless/cell phone.  Why couldn't she talk on the phone and stay in the same room/area that the children are in?  I talk on the phone while taking care of my daughter often, but I stay in the same room with her at all times. I feel that relatives tend to be a bit more "lax" in the care giver role.

Amy Lynn

you said children can move quickly and get into trouble quickyly - this isn't a 45 SECOND phone call we're talking about. it's 45 MINUTES. as in, almost an hour.

last year when my daughter was 2, she managed to unfold her little princess chair, carry it to the front door, unlock the front door and was working on the screen when i caught her! i hungup the phone right away - and my call was all of 1 minute and 12 seconds! my daughter had been in her bed, and was supposed to be napping - so i was trying to pay our electric bill. ONE MINUTE and TWELVE SECONDS! that's nothing! and she was still almost out our front door! if, god forbid, she had gotten outside and something horrible happened - would anyone be defending me? NO. i would be that horrible mother that just HAD to pay her bill and i would be taken to jail!

how is this lady any different? besides the fact that she clearly wasn't paying attention to anything except her phone call? i have no doubt that she feels horrible about everything, no doubt. BUT - she is clearly GUILTY of more than simply reckless conduct. it honestly makes me sick that you are defending her when those little girls would both still be here if she hadn't been on the phone or had still been paying attention!!!

Amy Lynn

and for the record - that very day, i had my uncle come over and install one of those little chains at the top of our front door where my daughter could definitely not even come close to reaching. our little scare was enough, i didn't want to risk anything else potentially happening!!!


Torra... TorranceMom

Wow! What a tragic and totally avoidable accident. We have an in-ground pool in our backyard, a pool fence with both gates LOCKED (keys in our gun safe) and every door and window in the house rigged with an alarm that goes off whenever they're opened.

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