Chuckey woman charged with child neglect; deputy reports finding animal excrement in children's room

Becky Campbell • Jan 27, 2012 at 4:21 PM

A Chuckey woman was arrested this week when a sheriff’s deputy and a DCS worker found her passed out and her children’s room covered in feces after teachers alerted authorities about possible child neglect, according to court documents.

Leslie Michele Norton, 29, 162 Painter Creek Road, was charged with child neglect and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The drug charges resulted from a “large marijuana smoking device” Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy John Foister found where Norton passed out in a storage room.

Foister was called to investigate possible child neglect by teachers at the school Norton’s kids — a fourth grader and kindergartner — attend.

School staff reported that the children had been frequently late to school and often did not attend at all.

“The children advised the school that they attempt to wake their mother by shaking her so she will take them to school,” Foister wrote in a court affidavit. “The children also report that frequently they arrive home from school and discover that nobody is home and sometimes they don’t eat dinner.”

One child told the officer he could not sleep on his bed because it was covered in dog feces.

In Foister’s affidavit, he documented 12 dogs chained to trees outside the house.

Inside, Foister said, the home was “covered in what appeared to be the remnants of feces and it had a very strong scent of animal urine.”

Foister said in the report that the children’s room was covered in animal urine and trash and the bed had stains on it.

Initially, Foister didn’t think Norton was home. He gained access to the house after Norton’s mother arrived and unlocked the door.

Foister said in the report the grandmother works full-time and does as much as she can for the children “and has no time to make a further effort on her part.”

According to the affidavit, DCS had responded to house on three different occasions since November.

“The complaints from those dates were addressed by DCS,” Foister stated in his affidavit.

Norton was arraigned on the charges in Washington County General Sessions Court Friday and remained held on a $6,000 bond. Her next court date is Feb. 2.

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