Woman Pleads Not Guilty To Child Neglect Charges

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A Charleston mother pleaded not guilty Tuesday after police say she was found unresponsive in a car with her son in the back seat.

According to a criminal complaint, in July, Susan Adkins drove to an alley off McQueen Street where she injected herself with cocaine and passed out. She was unresponsive for an unknown amount of time, before neighbors found her in the car with her son in the back seat.

"Her child was locked in a car with the windows rolled up," says Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney, Fred Giggenbach.

On that summer day, it was 85 degrees outside. The air conditioning wasn't on, the car was off, and the windows were rolled up. Giggenbach adds, "studies show if a child is locked in a car where it's hot outside and the windows are rolled up and the engine is off, the ac is off, it does not take long for brain damage to occur or death."

The child wasn't hurt. The 2-year-old boy now lives with his mom at a drug rehab facility. "We intend to make all efforts to prove her guilty. Any time there's a crime involving a child that is a victim who cannot protect or defend themselves so we take those cases very seriously."

The boy was in a car seat with his seat belt on.

Adkins' trial is set Dec. 30.

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