updated 6/7/2006 3:49:23 PM ET 2006-06-07T19:49:23

Two 911 dispatchers who authorities say failed to respond when a 5-year-old boy called the emergency line to say his mother had collapsed have been charged with willful neglect of duty, the county prosecutor said Wednesday.

Sharon Nichols, 43, and Terri Sutton, 47, face up to a year in jail if convicted of the misdemeanor.

The two dispatchers had been suspended for less than a week and had since returned to work, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said.

Robert Turner, who now is 6, called 911 in February to report that his mother, Sherrill Turner, had collapsed. The boy was told by an operator that he shouldn’t be playing on the phone.

By the time authorities arrived, Sherrill Turner, 46, was dead.

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