A woman whose daughter was found wandering along a Jonesborough street early one morning in December pleaded guilty to related charges in Washington County Sessions Court Tuesday.
Jeannae Raley, 34, and William Lollar, 44, 128 Sycamore Drive, were both charged in the incident with aggravated child abuse, neglect and endangerment.
Lollar is Raley’s live-in boyfriend. The couple was asleep at 128 Sycamore Drive when the 4-year-old girl was able to get out of the house and start walking down the road.
A passerby found her around 2:30 a.m. Dec. 21 on East Main Street in Jonesborough.
In a court hearing Tuesday, Raley pleaded guilty to attempted reckless endangerment. She received a six-month sentence to be served on probation and must pay a $25 fine and court costs.
The charges against Lollar were dismissed because he was not held legally responsible for the girl.
“His (charges) were dismissed because he was not the biological father,” said Assistant District Attorney General Michael Rasnick.
The residence where the family lived and location the girl where was found are only about a half-mile apart, but it took more than seven hours for officers to locate the residence because the girl couldn’t tell them where she lived or her parents’ names.
Jonesborough Public Safety initially responded to the call because the girl was found just inside town limits.
Callers told police the girl was sitting in a ditch, but by the time officers arrived, the girl was on the bridge near Timberidge Road.
Police said the girl was clothed, wearing shoes and a jacket and was carrying a blanket and her Elmo doll.
Shortly after finding the girl, police began knocking on doors, showing her photograph to residents, in an attempt to locate her parents.
By daylight, officers were continuing that effort but also going to daycare centers to see if anyone recognized her.
But the break came at a roadblock on East Main near Timberidge when a neighbor of Lollar and Raley’s recognized the girl and took officers to her residence.