Mother gets 30 days for leaving girl solo

May 22, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

A young mother who left her one-year-old daughter alone for several hours while she shopped and rode around with friends last summer was given a 30-day suspended jail sentence Monday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Deanna Marie Wiley, 19, of 1053E Noland Drive, admitted to Judge Donald Beachley that she "messed up" on Aug. 24 when she left Alexis Wiley alone in her crib in a locked apartment.

Wiley, who no longer has custody of the child, pleaded guilty to one of two counts of confining an unattended child. The second count and a charge of reckless endangerment were dropped in exchange for the plea.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Susan Lochbaum said Hagerstown City Police Officer Casey Yonkers was alerted by a neighbor that the child was possibly home alone.


The child was found in her crib on the second floor. No one else was home, Lochbaum said.

When located, Wiley told police a friend was supposed to be staying with the child while she took another friend home in a car she borrowed, Lochbaum said.

She said she didn't know the friend's last name, didn't know whose car she was driving and then kept changing her story, Lochbaum said.

After questioning, Wiley admitted she had picked up her boyfriend and several friends, then drove to a shopping center and shopped. She also admitted she didn't have a driver's license.

"When I'm out, time flies," Wiley told police that day, according to Lochbaum.

The child is in the custody of her maternal grandmother who allows Wiley supervised visits.

"She has a problem with her priorities," said Frederick defense attorney Marc Ward. He said she needs parenting classes and asked for probation before judgment.

Beachley was unmoved.

"I just don't think Miss Wiley gets it," Beachley said.

Ignoring defense efforts for probation before judgment, Beachley upheld her conviction, placed her on probation, ordered her to perform 25 hours of community service and to attend a parenting class.

"Do you have a job?" Beachley asked Wiley.

"No, I can't find one," she replied.

Beachley chastised Wiley, saying anyone could find a job in the current job market.

"This is a further demonstration that you don't deserve probation before judgment," Beachley said.

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