Suffolk couple found guilty of child neglect

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

A couple was found guilty Tuesday in Suffolk Circuit Court on charges of felony child neglect following an incident that took place last month.

The couple, Lisa and Marcus Hedgepeth, were charged after one of their six children, a 3-year-old girl, was found wandering several streets from her home on Pearl Street in downtown Suffolk.

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An investigation by Suffolk Police Detective Gary D. Myrick and Social Services revealed that the six children were living in what was described in court as filthy, vermin- infested conditions with animal feces in the house.

Myrick’s investigation and testimony in court disclosed that the mother had been sleeping in the home while the little girl walked out an unsecured door. When she couldn’t find the girl, the 32-year-old mother called police at 8:14 a.m. Myrick found the child, unharmed, several blocks away from the home.

The parents were charged with felony child neglect and although the judge found them guilty, he sentenced them to participate in parenting classes. He also allowed them to regain custody of the children.