Lakeville Mother Charged with Neglect After Leaving Young Kids Unsupervised

Lakeville Mother Charged with Neglect After Leaving Young Kids Unsupervised Photo: KSTP/File

March 26, 2018 10:29 PM

Authorities in Dakota County say a Lakeville mother passed out in the snow after drinking while her children were left unsupervised at their home.

On Feb. 12, at approximately 12:35 a.m., the Lakeville Police Department responded to a welfare call near Kenwood Trail in Lakeville, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday in Dakota County. When law enforcement arrived, they found 26-year-old Christine Teresa Jewle Smith laying on a snow-covered sidewalk.

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According to the complaint, Smith appeared intoxicated and was unable to comprehend basic questions. Medics were dispatched as Smith was unable to care for herself, and there was a question of whether she had sustained injuries from falling to the ground.

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While waiting for the medics, Smith consented to a breath test, which the complaint says registered a result of a .288 blood alcohol content. Smith was then transported to the hospital for further evaluation.

At about 1:30 a.m., hospital staff contacted law enforcement after Smith stated her two young children, ages 4 and 7, were home alone. According to the complaint, law enforcement were able to gain access to Smith's apartment, and there officers found both children asleep in a bedroom. The children's grandfather was contacted and he agreed to watch the children, the complaint says.

Law enforcement determined the children were left alone for about four hours – between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. – after speaking to the older child and the children's grandfather.

The complaint says upon the grandfather's arrival, he told officers that he had dropped the children off at Smith's apartment around 9:40 p.m. the previous night. According to the 7-year-old, the complaint says, after the children were dropped off by their grandfather, Smith left and told the children she would be home in 10 minutes.

On Feb. 13, law enforcement spoke to Smith, who admitted she had left the children around 10 p.m. because she wanted some hot wings from Green Mill. While waiting for the hot wings, she said she consumed a couple of whisky shots and blacked out. 

She was charged via summons Monday with one count of gross misdemeanor child neglect. She's to appear in court on April 16. 

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Tommy Wiita

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