Mother who left baby in hot car sentenced
A 28-year-old local woman who left her baby in a 116-degree car a year in ago in Aspen pleaded guilty Monday to attempted manslaughter.
Charlesie Edwards was sentenced to four years of supervised probation in a plea deal that calls for her guilty plea to be stricken from her record provided she stays out of trouble during probationary period.
Aspen police initially charged Edwards with attempted negligent criminal homicide after finding the baby unresponsive and soaked in sweat in the car that was parked in the 900 block of East Durant Avenue about 1:45 p.m. on Aug. 2, 2019. Police had been alerted by a woman passing by who noticed the 11/2-year-old alone and unconscious in the car.
Paramedics treated the girl for 30 minutes.
Edwards was located an hour later at a downtown Aspen clothing store drunk, possibly under the influence of drugs and “making suicidal statements,” according to court documents.
Later at the Pitkin County Jail, she expressed remorse for her actions, saying, “I can’t believe I did this. I could have killed her.”
On Monday, District Judge Chris Seldin asked her what she did to merit the guilty plea.
“To my understanding, my daughter was left in a hot vehicle,” Edwards said.
In addition to the now 2½-year-old, Edwards also has a 12-year-old and a 7-year-old, all three of whom have been taken away from her and are in the care of the state’s Department of Human Services, according to Monday’s court hearing.
Prosecutor Don Nottingham said Edwards suffers from drug and alcohol issues and that he was hopeful that she would one day have a relationship with her children.
Edwards’ attorney, public defender Ashley Andrews, said that a week before leaving the baby in the car, Edwards suffered a “terrible trauma” that led to her actions. Further, “the accident could have happened to anyone,” Andrews said.
“She absolutely loves her children,” she said, adding that Edwards’ No. 1 priority is getting them back. “I don’t believe she would ever harm her children intentionally.”
Members of the valley’s Jewish community gathered at the Albright Pavilion at Aspen Meadows Thursday for their second annual menorah lighting ceremony to celebrate and acknowledge the first day of Hanukkah.