Grandmother gets probation for child endangerment


A grandmother whose drug use led to inattention while supervising a 3-year-old was sentenced to five years of probation Monday by a judge in Miller County.

Trudy Dooley, 52, fell asleep the morning of June 4, 2014, while she was supposed to be babysitting her 3-year-old grandson. A couple driving north along Highway 71 South near Lucky Liquor spotted a child, wearing nothing but a diaper, by the side of the busy road at about 10 a.m. The boy pointed to a house at the end of a driveway when asked by the woman who picked him up where he lived.

The woman told deputies with the Miller County Sheriff’s Office a man came out of the house yelling as she walked up with the toddler. The woman and man she was traveling with stopped at a convenience store on the highway and called police.

When deputies knocked on the door that morning, nobody answered. At about 2 p.m. that afternoon, a Miller County detective and a caseworker with the Department of Child and Family Services returned to the home. There they found Dooley, her former boyfriend and a small boy. Dooley at first denied the child with her was the same one retrieved by motorists earlier that day. But when confronted with a witness identification of the child, Dooley admitted the boy was her grandson and that she had dozed off before he wandered away.

Drug tests administered to Dooley and the boyfriend showed positive results for methamphetamine, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, and THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Dooley’s daughter’s drug test was clean and the child was returned to her with the caveat she not leave the baby in her mother’s care.

Dooley pleaded guilty Monday to endangering the welfare of a minor before Miller County Circuit Judge Brent Haltom. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell represented the state.

As a condition of probation, Dooley is not permitted to be alone with the child for one year and must submit to random drug testing. She was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and various court costs.

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