Mother faces new neglect charges

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 14, 2005

A Suffolk woman who made national headlines last year for letting her toddler play with a gun is facing new child neglect charges.

Police arrested Joni M. Allen, 43, of the 1300 block of Glen Haven Drive on Tuesday, nearly two weeks after her 4-year-old son fell from a ladder while playing outside unsupervised, said Lt. Debbie J. George, spokeswoman for the Suffolk Police Department. She was charged with felony child neglect.

The child was playing in a two-story garage under construction when he fell onto a concrete floor, said George. The youngster, who suffered broken bones in his wrist, arm and face, has been released from the hospital.

Email newsletter signup

Allen was released on $5,000 bond. She will be arraigned in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on Friday.

Last July, Allen and her husband, Robert Allen, were each charged with felony child neglect after a neighbor videotaped the then-3-year-old son playing with an unloaded gun while the couple was shooting targets. Ultimately, the Allens each pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The incident hit the media spotlight after it was aired on a local television station, resulting in the couple's appearance on NBC's Today show.

Joni Allen could not be reached on Wednesday. A neighbor watching the house said she had left town because of excessive publicity surrounding her arrest.

Police couldn't confirm if the boy or the other children are in Social Services' custody.

If convicted, Allen could receive a prison sentence of up to five years and a maximum $100,000 fine.