The Albany mother arrested for leaving her child in a hot vehicle remains in jail on prior charges. Our camera was the only one in the courtroom when 20 year-old Alexus Allen appeared before a judge Wednesday, morning on a reckless conduct charge. Police say she left her 2-year old daughter inside an SUV at a shopping center Tuesday afternoon.
Allen will be held until at least July 15th for a hearing on a simple battery charge for which she failed to appear in court. She then would be eligible to post a $2,000 bond on the reckless conduct charge.
The district attorney's office will review the final report of that incident once it's completed by Albany Police to see if the charges match the crime.
If prosecutors find the child was injured, physically or mentally, the charges could be increased.
Even after numerous incidents of children dying in hot cars, health officials are concerned their safety message isn't getting out. Every year as the temperature heats up, health officials in Southwest Georgia remind residents of heat-related illnesses and how to prevent them...including ways to prevent leaving your child in the car.
Which is why Tuesday's incident leaves Dr. Jacqueline Grant, the Southwest Health District Health Director, shocked. "Unfortunately sometimes while we think we're getting that message out broadly, everyone is not listening to that message. And people use different sources for their information. And it's just an awakening that we need to broaden how we get our information out."
Albany Police say Alexus Allen left her 2 year-old daughter, Jordyn McMillian, inside a GMC Yukon while she was inside the sprint store on Dawson Road for about 25 minutes.
The Petsmart manager who helped alert authorities says the windows of the SUV were cracked enough for them to get the child out, but she was drenched in sweat and had been crying.
"It doesn't help at all to have a window cracked, because when it's hot outside that's not going to allow enough cooling to take place from that magnification of the sun that's coming through that glass, that greenhouse effect," said Dr. Grant.
Allen was placed in handcuffs, charged with reckless conduct.
"Reckless conduct is a misdemeanor and if perhaps the child is injured in any way than that probably is going to ratchet it up to cruelty to child in the 2nd degree, which carries a felony penalty," said Greg Edwards, the Dougherty County District Attorney.
Police say an Albany mother arrested for leaving her child in a hot vehicle had a previous charge of simple battery, but failed to appear for it. ? Alexus Allen was charged with reckless conduct Tuesday after she left her daughter inside an SUV at an Albany shopping center parking lot.
Police said Allen will be held until at least July 15th for a hearing on the simple battery charge. After that she will be eligible to post the $2,000 bond on the reckless conduct charge.
The temperature at the time of the incident was recorded at 90 degrees with a heat index of 93. Weather experts said temperatures inside a vehicle Tuesday could have reached up to 115 degrees.