Three charged with endangering a child

By: Conroy Delouche Email
By: Conroy Delouche Email

JELLICO, Tenn. (WVLT) - Imagine a two year-old wandering into busy streets in the middle of the day, and no one even notices he's gone.

Now that child is in the state's custody, and his grandfather, mother, and her boyfriend are facing child endangerment charges.

This all happened in Jellico in northern Campbell County. A neighbor found the boy near a car wash a few hundred yards away from the home.

Mark Stevens admitted he had a few beers when he fell asleep, and feels terrible that his grandson ever left his sight.

"It just felt like my whole body was shot. Because I get on him going right here on the grass like no no buddy you can't," said Mark Stevens.

Police searched the home, and found several open beer cans and drug paraphernalia in the child's room.

During questioning, Jellico Police Officer Joseph Hopson says both the child's mother, Amanda Stevens and her boyfriend Danny Hopper, admitted to using drugs in the home.

"He and his girlfriend had been in the room using intravenous drugs to get high, and they had in fact left the extremely dangerous drug paraphernalia laying there, the suboxone packet," said Hopson.

It's a charge that Amanda Stevens strongly denies.

"No they found a suboxone wrapper that was my friend Kevin's that he dropped out of his pocket. There was no drug paraphernalia whatsoever. We don't keep that here," said Amanda Stevens and Hopson.

Just two months ago, she says she had to give her newborn up because she had drugs in her system.

Stevens also admits that both she and Hopper failed drug tests for suboxone just last week.

"Just because I have a habit doesn't mean I'm not a good mother. I love my son, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna let someone say I'm a bad mom," said Amanda Stevens.

Both say they're going through rehab to get better and try to get their kids back.

But while Hopson says the grandfather looked like he was truly sorry, the child's mother was another story

"I guess you could say yeah she showed a little remorse but not as much you would expect in a situation of this magnitude," said Hopson.

Police say when they saw the child in the home, he was trying to drink out of an open beer can, and had to be stopped.

That's just one reason the child was placed in state custody.

His mother, her boyfriend, and the boy's grandfather will be in court later this month.


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