Woman accused of child endangerment: "I left him"

Woman accused of child endangerment: "I left him"
Debbie Darice Cravens (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Police say a Jonesboro woman accused of leaving a one-year-old child home alone told them: "I left him."

A neighbor called Jonesboro police just before 7:30 Wednesday night after finding the infant standing unattended on the front porch of its home.

When it appeared he was about to fall off the porch, she crossed the street and picked him up, the initial incident report stated.

Noticing the front door was open, the woman said she knocked but no one would come to the door. After waiting 10 minutes, the woman called the police.

Officers James Chambers and Ethan Sanderlin entered the home, with their weapons drawn, and cleared the residence. No one was inside. However, both officers noted a "strong odor of marijuana" in the house.

After clearing the residence, Officer Sanderlin spoke with the child's mother who said she worked in Greene County and had just gotten off work.

When asked who was supposed to be watching her son, the mother said she thought her friend was supposed to be watching the baby.

"But she was not sure because her fiancé was the one responsible for getting a babysitter," the report stated.

Several minutes later, the woman's fiancé arrived at the scene and reportedly said that his mother, 59-year-old Debbie D. Cravens, was supposed to be babysitting while he went to baseball practice.

Because he was running late, the man said he pulled out of the driveway and left when Cravens pulled up to the house. He reportedly said he did not watch her walk inside.

"I asked him if he knew where she was," Sanderlin said in his report. "He stated that he did not know."

Sanderlin went to Cravens' home but was unable to make contact.

Just before 9:30, according to the report, Cravens returned to the scene.

According to Officer Sanderlin's account, she refused to speak with him without an attorney present.

"She advised that she had been lied to by police officers before and that she did not feel comfortable speaking to me without an attorney," Sanderlin stated. "I attempted to explain to her that I was just trying to get her side of what happened. She still refused to say anything."

After taking her information, Sanderlin told Cravens they would take her son into custody for endangering the welfare of a minor.

"She asked me why and I told her that [her son] had told us that he was the one that left [the infant] at home alone," Sanderlin stated. "[Cravens] then told me that she was the one who left [the infant] unattended."

Cravens refused to say anything else without an attorney.

The officers placed Cravens into custody and took her to the Craighead County Detention Center.

On Thursday, District Judge Tommy Fowler found probable cause to charge her with first-degree child endangerment and set her bond at $1,500. Cravens is due in circuit court on June 29.

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