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Hatfield Mother Admits to Getting Drunk, Leaving 11-Day-Old Daughter in Unheated Car in December

Courtenay Jernigan, 37, was sentenced to time-served to 23 months in prison afer pleading guilty Thursday to endangering the welfare of a child

Hatfield mother Courtenay L. Jernigan, 37, admitted in Montgomery County Court Thursday to getting drunk, passing out, and leaving her 11-day-old daughter in an unheated car in 28-degree December weather for two hours.

According to PhillyBurbs.com, Jernigan pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child and was sentenced to time-served to 23 months in prison.

Jernigan, a two-time DUI offender, has been in jail since her Dec. 12 arrest, according to court records.

Following parole, Jernigan will served a three-year probation, according to the article.

Jernigan must have supervised visits with her daughter, unless a family court judge says differently, according to the article.

Here's what went down, according to PhillyBurbs.com:

On the evening of Dec. 11, Jernigan had an argument with her boyfriend at their apartment on the 100 block of Penn Street in Hatfield Borough, according to the article.

Jernigan left her apartment with her daughter at around 7 p.m.

Jernigan drove to a home on the 2100 block of Overbrook Road, where a Hatfield Township couple that she was friends with resided, arriving around 9 p.m.

According to a criminal complaint, Jernigan left her daughter in the car and began drinking once she entered the home. 

The couple told police that Jernigan went to use the bathroom around 11 p.m. and did not come out. They checked on her and found her passed out on the floor, according to the article.

Jernigan was awakened by the couple, who determined she was too drunk to drive, according to the article. The couple drove her home themselves in their vehicle.

The couple dropped Jernigan off at her home, according to the article, and left. 

Jernigan's boyfriend asked her where their daughter was and she refused to answer, according to the article.

The boyfriend drove over to the Overbrook Road home and found his daughter sitting in a rear child restraint seat in the back of Jernigan's car, according to the article.

The infant was wearing thin pajamas and did not have a blanket. The driver's side window was partially down and the car was not running, according to the article.

The boyfriend took the infant home and immediately called police.

Police said that the temperature was 28 degrees and frost was on the car, according to the article.

According to a criminal complaint, Jernigan told the couple that her daughter was with her mother.

The 11-day-old girl was taken to Grand View Hospital for evaluation and was later released.

Jernigan was sentenced two days before her 38th birthday.

Jernigan has pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court before related to two DUI incidents in 2001.

In February 2002, Jernigan pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol on Sept. 10, 2001 and on Jan. 11, 2001. She was sentenced in March 2002 to a maximum of one year and six months in prison, for each offense, according to court records. She had to pay $1,156 in court fees and $214 in fines for the September incident, and $719 in court fees and $1,076 in fines for the January incident.

Mandi June 22, 2012 at 11:03 AM
What a pos! 37 years old?! I hope she never regAins custody of that child.

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