HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio — An Indiana mother accused of having abandoned her 5-year-old son, who has autism, on a dead-end street in Ohio earlier this year has been sentenced to six months in a lockdown facility where she will receive mental health and substance abuse treatment.
Heather Adkins, 33, of Shelbyville pleaded guilty last month in Hamilton County Court to child endangerment. A kidnapping charge was dropped as part of a plea agreement.
Prosecutors said Adkins drove from Indiana to Tennessee in February to drop off two of her three children with a friend but on the way back abandoned her son on a dead-end street in Colerain Township near Cincinnati, about 75 miles from her home.
Officials said the boy, who is nonverbal, was spotted by passing motorists as he tried to wave down cars in the rain. Adkins was arrested at a gas station in Georgetown, Ky., on an unrelated warrant.
In court, Adkins acknowledged the facts of the case but denied that she intended to harm her son, WCPO-TV reported.
In a jailhouse interview with a reporter from WKYT, Adkins gave conflicting information on who she left the child with before admitting she didn't leave him with anyone.
When asked why she would abandon him and leave him somewhere all by himself, Adkins responded, "To save him from me."
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that after her release from River City Correctional Center, Adkins will be on probation for three years. Common Pleas Judge Jennifer Branch also ordered her last week to stay away from her son.