Drug program part of sentence

Woman admits to neglect of toddler

GREENFIELD — A local woman has agreed to enroll in a drug treatment program as part of the plea deal she took after admitting she neglected a child left in her care.

A toddler Alyssa Anderson was babysitting was found walking in the street alone near downtown Greenfield earlier this year, according to court documents. A passer-by called 911 after finding the child standing in the middle of the intersection of North and Pratt streets, charging documents state. The child was about half a block from the home where Anderson, 20, 2963 W. U.S. 40, had been watching her, police said.

Anderson recently pleaded guilty to one Level 6 felony count of neglect of a dependent, admitting she failed to properly secure the home to ensure the child stayed safely inside, according to court documents. At the same time, she admitted to being a heroin addict and pleaded guilty to drug possession in an unrelated case filed around the same time.

As part of the plea agreement she accepted, Anderson will enter the county’s heroin protocol — a probation department program that allows offenders to receive treatment at an area halfway house while serving time for crimes they’ve committed.

Anderson’s sentence spans 2.5 years, according to the plea agreement filed with the court. The first 90 days will be spent at a halfway house, where she will attend 12-step programs and other addiction-related therapies the house requires. The remainder of her sentence will be spent on probation, during which she’ll continue drug-treatment counseling with a probation officer, the plea agreement states.

If Anderson does not complete the heroin protocol successfully, or if she violates her probation, she will be sent back to jail for the remainder of her sentence, the plea agreement states.

Police said the child’s grandmother left the girl with Anderson around 8 a.m. Feb. 28 as she was heading to work, according to court documents.

Anderson told police she lay down to sleep around that time and thought the little girl had gone to sleep as well, court documents state.

The child was found sometime later, playing in the middle of the street. Investigators say it was cold and raining at the time, and the child was wearing only a long-sleeved set of pajamas and slippers. She was soaking wet, and her diaper was full, but she was not injured, according to court documents.

Police checked nearby homes and found the front door of a house in the 100 block of Pratt Street standing open. They knocked several times and repeatedly called inside.

Anderson eventually came out of a downstairs bedroom to speak with officers and immediately admitted she was supposed to be caring for the child and asked where she had been found, records state.

Anderson pleaded guilty in Hancock County Superior Court 1 last week. At the same time, she admitted to possession of methamphetamine — also a Level 6 felony — in an unrelated case. Court records state she’ll serve the same 2.5-year sentence for both cases — the maximum time allotted for Level 6 felonies.

Author photo
Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.