Mother jailed for neglect after children found outside

Jessica White was arrested for felony child neglect.

A man is coming to the defense of his wife, who is jailed for child neglect.

Jessica White was arrested after her toddlers were found playing outside without supervision. One of the children wasn't wearing shoes.

But White's husband, 22-year-old Steven Tucker, says the punishment doesn't fit the crime.

"Any kid can get that unlocked and that is exactly what they did," Tucker said.

He showed Eyewitness News how his two stepchildren got out of the apartment while their mother showered Tuesday evening. White, who works nights as a security guard, was jailed on two counts of felony child neglect.

"She made a little, bitty, simple mistake and I feel it did not deserve the punishment it got," Tucker said.

Metro police responded to calls to the playground at Brookwood Apartments where the couple lives Tuesday. The officers questioned the two-year-old boy and three-year-old girl, asking for their parents' names.

White had already called Tucker, who feared the worst.

"The police are in here. She was standing over here against the wall talking and they were not telling her anything. CPS was here, giving her a drug test and stuff like that," Tucker said.

Although Tucker agrees White should have waited before showering, he defends her as a mother.

Neighbors are also coming to White's defense, even going so far as to write a reference letter to help them regain custody of the children.

"I have never seen or heard anything out of the ordinary," said neighbor April Nixon.

Tucker is installing a chain on the door so the curious children won't get out again.