Sentences about balance in cases of kids left in hot cars - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Sentences about balance in cases of kids left in hot cars

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NOBLESVILLE -

In Noblesville Kristin, out and about with baby Elliot. When she leaves her car, "I grab her first. Obviously, then just the diaper bag, the purse."

But here in Hamilton County, some parents missed that "child-first" on their mental checklists.

Rescuers broke into an SUV outside a Fishers store to pull out a 19-month-old, with temperatures reaching 105 degrees outside, she would go into seizures. Her mother, Meg Trueblood, left her in the closed up car for an hour while she shopped. The child survived.

Eleven months later the case is closed and she plead guilty but mentally ill to criminal recklessness with serious bodily injury.

She got the maximum sentence - three years - but only served two days behind bars. Is that enough penalty to deter future child in car cases?

Deputy prosecutor Andre Miksha says, "Doctors looked at Ms. Trueblood, herself, they looked at her medical records."

Prosecutors look at cases individually, he says. While many people were outraged by the case, Miksha says it turns out, "Her condition that day was due to an unintended, unforseen reaction to the medications she had been taking." One of those medications was new. The reaction, "might have affected her ability to appreciate the wrongfulness of her action."

She still has 18 months of probation, must keep up with her medication and if she breaks the rules could go back to jail.

Miksha says, "The Indiana condition makes sure the penal code is not based on vindictive justice but reformation."

Weeks later another woman Pooja Thakkar left a child in a car. She was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of recklessness. She also left her child in the car while she shopped. That child was not seriously hurt. That accounts for the less severe charges. She got the maximum one year under her plea bargain but that was on home detention.

She is also on probation meaning any more problems and she's back in jail.

But other can't understand how it could happen. New mom Kristin in downtown Noblesville says of her infant, "She's the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about at night. I don't see how it could be an accident they are left in the car."

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