A mother plead guilty to felonious child endangering Monday after neighbors called police and found her 4-year-old child in the roadway nearly a mile from where he lived.
After admitting that her 4-year-old son was left alone on his bicycle nine-tenths of a mile from home, Lindsey R. Campbell, 32, plead guilty in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas to child endangering, a fourth-degree felony. She was arrested the evening of June 20, the Record-Herald reported, when someone called police about a child in the middle of the roadway in the area of North North Street in Washington C.H.
At approximately 6:30 p.m., a resident in the area helped a Washington Court House Police Department officer to find the child, who was located on Gibbs Avenue. Fayette County Children Services was called, reports said, after it was realized the boy was only able to provide his first name and was unable to provide any information concerning the whereabouts of his parents or their identities.
The police received information that the child may live at 790 Linden Ave., reports said. The police contacted Campbell and told her that the police department had found the boy and had taken him into care an hour-and-a-half ago.
During the court hearing, it was discussed that Campbell would enter a guilty plea and that the state was recommending community control in sentencing. Just before entering her guilty plea, the assistant prosecutor read the facts of the case and Judge Steven Beathard asked Campbell if that was indeed what had happened in the incident. Campbell stated “no.” Beathard said the court can’t take a guilty plea if she was coming into court and stating that she wasn’t guilty.
Campbell then explained that a statement previously made that “the 4-year-old boy was supposed to be in the care of his 9-year-old sister” was false. Campbell said in court that the 9-year-old sister was out of town at the time of the incident. Campbell stated that the boy “knew the rules for how he was supposed to go,” that the boy’s behavior was “not in his character,” and that she had never had a problem with her kids.
Campbell’s attorney, Kristina Oesterle, said the factual basis for the charge was that Campbell was not aware of the boy’s location or where he had been found. Beathard said that there was a factual basis for taking the plea. Following Campbell’s guilty plea, she went with the Fayette County Adult Probation Department to schedule an intensive interview for a pre-sentencing investigation. Sentencing is scheduled Nov. 13. Campbell has a previous child endangering charge in the Washington Municipal Court, reports said.
People can report suspected child neglect to Fayette County Children Services, 133 S. Main Street, Washington Court House, Ohio, 43160. The general line is 740-335-0350. In an emergency, always call 911. The non-emergency police line for Washington C.H. is 740-636-2370. In a crisis, people can text the word “hope” to the state’s crisis line at 741741.
Reach Ashley by calling (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching for @ashbunton on Twitter.com