A judge has entered a preliminary not guilty plea on behalf of a Greencastle woman facing charges after her 2-year-old granddaughter drowned in the family's backyard swimming pool earlier this year.
Beverly Lawler appeared with her attorney Jeffrey Boggess in front of Superior Court Judge Matt Headley on Thursday where she was arraigned on charges of neglect, obstruction of justice and operating a home day care without a license.
Lawler came to court on her own recognizance Thursday and the judge ordered she remain so while she waits for her pretrial conference on Nov. 8.
If convicted of all the charges, Lawler faces a possible maximum prison sentence of 11 years and total fines up to $20,500.
Lawless did not say anything during the hearing except to acknowledge the charges to the judge.
Police allege Lawless was operating an unlicensed child day care in her Greencastle home and was caring for 10 children on the day her granddaughter, Serinity L. Hammer, entered the family's backyard swimming pool unnoticed. The girl died in the hospital the following day.
Lawless allegedly lied to police on two occasions about how many children she was watching on the day that Serinity died, according to police reports.