(West Chester PA)
The defendant entered a plea to misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child. As part of a deal between her attorney and the prosecution, Judge Anthony Sarcione sentenced her to three years of probation and ordered her to undergo substance abuse and psychological evaluations and comply with all recommended treatment.
The circumstances surrounding her arrest made headlines across the region. In her plea agreement, she admitted letting her daughter sit in the front driver’s seat of her SUV as it was “moving slowly in the travel lane of Walnut Street” in Coatesville on the afternoon of Sept. 6.
It was unclear whether the car’s engine had been running prior to police spotting it. It had not gone a significant distance from when police first saw the car to when they took Hogue into custody.
Initially, authorities indicated that the defendanthad forced her daughter to drive the car because she was too intoxicated at the time. The Defendant’s reportedly laughed about the incident and said she was teaching her daughter to drive, police said. The arresting officer said the defendant had bloodshot, glassy eyes and appeared “very nonchalant about the whole situation.”
The relative, who was not named in the criminal complaint, then asked the girl: “Was your mom smoking that stinky stuff again?” The girl then allegedly replied, “yes” with tears in her eyes.
The 6-year-old female driver was “almost hanging off the steering wheel,” an officer said during testimony at the defendant’s preliminary hearing. “You could see approximately half of her face. Her nose was at the steering wheel.”
The defendant had been free on bail since her arrest pending the resolution of the case involving her daughter. In March, she pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a confrontation with city police in March 2009 when she objected to her son being taken into custody. She was sentenced to 90 days probation on a summary charge of disorderly conduct.
Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Callahan, of the district attorney’s Child Abuse Unit, said the sentence fell under the standard range of the state’s sentencing guidelines. She said her office took into consideration whether the 6-year-old, and the defendant’s other children, were safe and determined that they are.
According to the plea agreement, the defendant will have to follow recommendation made by the county’s Dependency Court regarding her children, who live with the defendant and her family. Callahan said no problems had been reported since her arrest in September.
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