Allen arraigned on child neglect charges

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 16, 2005

A Suffolk woman was arraigned in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Friday on felony child neglect charges.

Joni Allen, whose son was caught on videotape playing with a gun last July, a tape that was seen across the country, was arrested Tuesday, almost two weeks after her four-year-old son — the same one taped playing with the gun – fell from a ladder inside a two-story garage that was under construction. The child suffered broken bones in his arm and face.

A preliminary hearing for Allen, who retained Norfolk attorney Pete Decker, was scheduled for Aug. 30.

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After last year’s incident, Allen and her husband Robert pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Both were placed on probation.

Allenis free on bond. Both of her sons are currently in the custody of social services. A custody hearing is scheduled for next week.

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