Woman accused of putting kids in trunk pleads not guilty

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A woman accused of traveling from Queen City, Texas, to Texarkana with two 12-year-old boys in the trunk of her car pleaded not guilty to child endangerment charges Monday afternoon at a hearing in Bowie County.

Camille Marie Hancock, 37, also pleaded not guilty to a charge of possession of methamphetamine under one gram at her arraignment before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell. Hancock’s attorney, Clayton Haas of the Bowie County Public Defenders Office, said Hancock has asked that he file a motion to reduce her existing $230,000 bail.

Hancock’s bail on each of the endangering charges is set at $100,000 and bail on the possession charge is set at $30, 000. Haas asked Tidwell to schedule the case for a bond reduction hearing. Tidwell said he will schedule a hearing once a formal written motion has been filed with the court.

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Hancock allegedly admitted to a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper that she had smoked methamphetamine and marijuana prior to and while driving from Queen City, Texas to Texarkana on April 7, according to a probable cause affidavit. Trooper Jonathon Baldwin was on routine patrol when he allegedly observed Hancock violate traffic laws as she drove a silver Ford passenger car.

Hancock allegedly came to rest illegally in the intersection of Farm to Market Road 2148 and U.S. Highway 59 before disregarding a red traffic signal. Baldwin pulled the car over and observed Hancock “to be in constant motion and appeared to be reaching in and out of her purse in a frantic motion,” the affidavit states.

Riding in the front passenger seat was a “young adult male.” Other passengers included a young adult female passenger, an infant in a rear facing car seat which was not belted into the car, and a young female passenger with a toddler in her lap unsecured. Baldwin noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from the car “and Hancock would admit to smoking marijuana in the car moments earlier.”

“Hancock was very nervous and I observed her to demonstrate several ‘tics’ and body tremors throughout the interview. Hancock was found to be in possession of several pieces of drug paraphernalia, a useable amount of methammphetamine and to have two active capias warrants,” the affidavit states.

While Hancock was being placed under arrest, she informed the trooper that two 12-year-old boys were in the trunk. The trunk was immediately opened and the boys were found inside.

“Hancock would later admit to having used both methamphetamine and marijuana prior and while driving and stated she knew placing the boys in the trunk put the children at a high risk for injury or death,” the affidavit states.

Child Protective Services was contacted and the children were released to “the appropriate parties.” Hancock allegedly claimed that she was giving the adults and infant in the car a ride and placed the boys in the trunk for “convenience.”

All three of the felonies Hancock is charged with are punishable by six months to two years in a state jail. Tidwell scheduled Hancock’s case for a pretrial hearing the afternoon of Aug. 27.

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