Single Mom Faces Prison After She Left Her 14 Year Old Daughter Babysit Her Siblings.

Melissa Henderson, who is a single mother of five, is facing a year in jail after she left her children under the care of her oldest child, 14 year old Linley, while she went to work in the middle of the pandemic.

Some people are calling Melissa’s decision as irresponsible while others are shielding the mother’s actions.

Linley was supposedly engaging in online learning and did not notice that her four-year-old brother went out of the house to play with his friend in Blairsville, Georgia. However, Linley noticed within about 10 to 15 minutes that his brother was gone and found him at his friend’s house down the street.

But in the meantime the friend’s mother called the police. Police took down her information but returned nearly two weeks later with five fleet cars and Henderson was detained in front of her children.

Police wrote in the arrest report that anything terrible could have happened to 4 year old boy after he left the home. If find guilty, Henderson faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a fine of $1,000.

Melissa said that the incident made her feel too low as she always try to be a good mother for her kids and it was awkward when she was handcuffed by the police in front of her kids.

She was taken to Union County jail, where she says she recalls curling up in a ball in the corner and just wanting to hide. Ultimately, her ex-husband bailed her out. 

Criminal proceedings have now been on-going for two years and her lawyer claims that the charge is illegal and seeks to get it terminated. Her lawyer quotes a Georgia Supreme Court ruling that ruled that charging a mother for a usual parenting decision is illegal.

But Union County District Lawyer said he believed that the cops were acting cautiously in their arrest as the same 4 year old child had been caught outside on his own once in the past as well. The Georgia Division of Family and Children’s Services had investigated the incident at the time and left Henderson with a warning. They again investigated her conduct after the 4 year boy left the house and found no wrongdoing.

The Union County District Lawyer said that the arresting officers informed him that Linley had some measure of learning disability that makes her an unreliable sitter.

Henderson said in protection of her daughter that Linley has been detected with ADHD but had a GPA of 4.45, was vice president of the 4-H Club, broke school records in varsity track, completed the Red Cross Childcare Program and is certified in CPR.

The Union County District Lawyer said a guilty verdict most likely not result in Henderson facing any prison time but thought it would be a good idea to prevent her daughter from babysitting any more.

But now Henderson says she is afraid to leave her children alone and this has just been a nightmare. She has not returned to work since her arrest.

A crowed funding has been set up for Henderson’s legal expenses and it had raised more than $9,000. 

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