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Woman sentenced for contributing to condition of child

June 05, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

A Boonsboro woman's fight with her boyfriend last September was alarming enough for her two children, aged 2 and 9, to flee the home unnoticed in a rainstorm and seek shelter with a neighbor.

That Sept. 15, 1999, fight brought Judy Bennett to Washington County Circuit Court Monday, charged with contributing to the condition of a child.

Bennett, 32, pleaded guilty to that one charge and was given a two-year suspended sentence. She was placed on probation for three years.

"I hope this was an isolated incident," Judge Kennedy Boone said to the woman.

The children were removed from her home by the Washington County Department of Social Services after the incident.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Arthur Rozes said Bennett and her boyfriend had been drinking when an argument broke out around 8:30 p.m.

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There was yelling and things were thrown in the home during the fight, prompting Bennett's 9-year-old daughter to take her 2-year-old sibling out into the rain and wind to the neighbor's house where police were called.

"When police arrived at the Bennett home, there was nobody there and the place was a mess," Rozes said.

When Bennett returned to the house she told police she didn't know where her children were.

The Department of Social Services case was closed in December and the children were returned to their mother.

Bennett, who no longer works outside the home, said she and her children are financially supported by her boyfriend.

Boone told her she needs to get the Department of Social Services to help her get child support from the children's father who lives in West Virginia.

"I hope this is an isolated incident because I am the Department of Social Services judge and I could take them away from you," Boone said.

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