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Erin Jackman, 24, is charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of a toddler in her care. ((Facebook))

A Medicine Hat, Alta. day-home operator has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter in connection to the death of a 19-month-old girl.

Erin Jackman, 24, has elected for a trial by judge and jury.

In July, Mercedes Pepper was rushed  to Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary, where she died of head injuries.

Investigators alleged she suffered the trauma at a provincially approved day home operated in Jackman's residence.

Four children were in Jackman's home at the time of the alleged incident: two were hers and two — Pepper and a five-year-old girl — were in her care, police said.

Jackman was initially charged with aggravated assault, but that was upgraded  following an autopsy.

She will be back in court April 14 for a preliminary hearing.