HENDERSON, Ky (WEHT) – An Evansville woman was arrested and charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury on Tuesday after police say a child in her care was taken to the hospital with an equivalent blood alcohol content level of .149. According to family, the child is 19-months-old.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the child was taken to Deaconess Midtown on January 16 by his father, who had left him in the care of the child’s grandfather and the grandfather’s girlfriend Dena Hobbs, 50. The child was reportedly unresponsive upon admittance and was listed by the hospital as “critically ill.” The child’s core body temperature was 92 degrees and his glucose level was 19 mg/dL, where the normal range is 70-99.
Tests were administered and it was determined the child had an alcohol serum level of 149 mg/dL which is equivalent to .149 BAC. The child was diagnosed with acute alcoholic intoxication and hypothermia.
The child’s grandfather confirmed with police that he left the child with Dena while he went to work that morning, and he was gone all day. He said he returned and found Hobbs and the child asleep in the bedroom. After the child’s grandfather and Hobbs were not able to wake up the child, he told police he was going to take the victim to the hospital, but the child’s father arrived and he advised him to take him instead.
Police say the child’s father told them he was concerned because Hobbs was an alcoholic and he received calls and texts from Hobbs asking to have the child stay longer, including a text that said “He’s still sleeping, we played hard today lol if you want to leave him for a while it’s fine.” The child’s father also said Hobbs was hesitant to give the child to him, and made excuses for the child’s condition.
Hobbs initially denied knowing how the child could have had alcohol in his system, but then admitted that he could have drank from a metal tumbler on her bedside table that had an alcoholic beverage in it the night before. Hobbs said it contained vodka with coconut water and ice. She said she did not see the child drink from the tumbler, but admitted that there were times when he was not in her sight.
Hobbs arrested on Tuesday and charged with neglect of a dependent. She is being held on a $10,000 bond.