Aug 10, 2012 12:46 PM by Erin Schattauer - MTN News

Woman accused of leaving child in hot car while she gambled appears in court

BOZEMAN - Kathryn Aldrich of Belgrade, accused of leaving a child inside a car in 90-degree heat while she gambled in a hotel casino, appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court on Thursday morning via video conference from the detention center.

Aldrich, 26, seemed agitated throughout the hearing, raising her hand and appearing close to tears when she explained to Judge Bryan Adams that she wouldn't be able to post more than $5,000 for bail.

Adams set her bail at $15,000, and also ordered that Aldrich is not to have unsupervised visits with the child that she allegedly left inside a hot car.

The child is just a few months away from turning 3 years old, deputy county attorney Shannon Foley said. Aldrich was watching the child while his father was at work, according to court papers.

Police were called to the Bozeman hotel at around 2 p.m. on Wednesday where they saw a child strapped to a baby seat, sweating profusely and very red and lethargic, according to court documents.

An officer opened the door and took the child out of the seat. The child received medical attention from AMR. Authorities determined that the child had been in the car for over an hour. A firefighter at the scene said the child seat was about 104 degrees, according to court papers.

When Aldrich came out of the casino, a police officer spoke with her. She reportedly told him that she was gambling inside the hotel but came out to check on the child and at one point gave him a bottle of water.

When the officer told Aldrich the child was soaked in sweat, she replied that the child dumped the water on himself, according to court papers.

Aldrich was arrested for felony criminal endangerment and taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center. The child's father picked him up at the hotel.

Defense attorney Eric Brewer explained that Aldrich is on Social Security disability and is unemployed.


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