CINCINNATI (AP) — An Indiana mother accused of having abandoned her 5-year-old autistic son on an Ohio street earlier this year has pleaded guilty to child endangerment.
Heather Adkins, 33, of Shelbyville entered the plea last week in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court and is scheduled for sentencing Sept. 28. A kidnapping charge was dropped as part of a plea agreement and Adkins now faces a term of five years probation to three years in prison, officials said.
Prosecutors said Adkins drove from Indiana to Tennessee in February to drop off two of her three children with a friend but on the way back abandoned her son on a dead-end street in Colerain Township near Cincinnati, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from her home.
Officials said the boy, who is nonverbal, was spotted by passing motorists as he tried to wave down cars in the rain. Adkins was arrested at a gas station in Georgetown, Ky., on an unrelated warrant.
“It’s heartbreaking to imagine what this non-verbal, 5-year-old boy went through,” Prosecutor Joseph Deters said in a statement in February. “I’m certain he was confused and hurt. His mother, being the person with whom he totally depended upon, dumps him on a dangerous road – in the pouring rain – to fend for himself, 70 miles from his home.”
In court last Monday, Adkins acknowledged the facts of the case but denied that she intended to harm her son, WCPO-TV reported.