Charges dropped against mom who left kids alone to work - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Charges dropped against mom who left kids alone to work

 

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Jonesboro mother arrested for leaving her four children home alone while she worked third shift received news Tuesday that she wouldn't be charged with child endangerment.

In April, Tiffany Smith told Region 8 News, "...when they took me to jail, they said I was a criminal. That it was a felony," she cried. "The whole thing was traumatic because I've never been to jail before, never been arrested before. Not a criminal."

However, if she thought that information was hard to swallow, the news she received this week was even more surprising.

"I was crying and I was a little skeptical," Smith said in regards to receiving the news that Prosecuting Attorney, Scott Ellington, would not be charging her with felony child endangerment. 

"I was so happy. Just...I was really happy. I couldn't describe it any other way," Smith said.

Tiffany Smith has been out of work for a month now, after Walmart suspended her for her arrest. 

That's part of the reason Ellington decided to drop charges against Smith.

In a statement released to Region 8 News, Ellington stated: "There were two factors that weighed heavily in making this decision. First, it is my understanding that if Ms. Smith had been convicted in this case, her employment relationship would have been terminated. Secondly, the Department of Human Services opened a protective services case with this family and DHS will continue to monitor them."

"I just appreciate them dropping the charges and realizing that I would never do anything to hurt my kids on purpose. I'm just trying to do something better for them," Smith told Region 8 News.

As for her job, Walmart told Smith she'd be suspended until her charges were dropped or reduced to a misdemeanor.

"I haven't heard from Walmart," she said.

She's hoping someone out there has a day position she can fill.

Though it's been a tough month for her, Smith said she's amazed by how many strangers have come together to help her and her family.

"It's been a lot of people that I'm still talking to now that have just been awesome in my life. I came down here only knowing three or four people, now I know a whole community," she said.

While Ellington did drop Smith's charges, he also commended the JPD officers who took the actions they deemed necessary at the time for the safety of her children.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All Rights Reserved.

 

_________

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Wednesday Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington announced his office decided not to file charges against Tiffany Smith. In April, Smith was the arrested for child endangerment for leaving her four children overnight to work full time. The single mom told police she left the 11 year old in charge of the younger three.

Smith told KAIT TV that she had been suspended from her job at Wal-Mart pending the outcome of the charges. Smith says her children were temporarily removed from the home by the Department of Human Services, which is routine.

In a statement Ellington said, "There were two factors that weighed heavily in making this decision. First, it is my understanding that if Ms. Smith had been convicted in this case, her employment relationship would have been terminated. Secondly, the Department of Human Services opened a protective services case with this family and DHS will continue to monitor them. I commend the Jonesboro police officers who were involved in this case for taking the actions they deemed necessary for the safety of Ms. Smith's children at the time."

Smith, a single mother, told Region 8 News she moved to Jonesboro from Kansas City for a full time job at Wal-Mart. The family had been living in a shelter until their move to Arkansas. After the story of her arrest first aired, community support grew for Smith and her children.

Links:

Mom accused of leaving kids home along to work now struggling

Copyright 2013 KAIT.  All rights reserved.

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