Couple accused of leaving urine-soaked infants in backseat under clothes plead not guilty
A Tennessee couple accused of placing six-month-old children underneath garbage bags filled with close has pleaded not guilty to wanton endangerment.
An arrest report shows an officer stopped at a gas station on Lexington Road and was alerted to a couple who had been sitting at gas pumps for hours. When the officer talked to the couple inside the vehicle, they mentioned kids.
"We're very fortunate that the clerks there called to alert the police department and let us know what was going on," said Versailles Police Lt. Michael Fortney.
The officer asked where the children were, and the couple, identified as Christopher Smith and Crystal Cramer of Tennessee, pointed to the backseat of the car, which was filled with garbage bags full of clothes.
Officers began digging through the piles of clothes before locating one of the infants. They eventually found the other infant after more digging.
Police say the two were cold to the touch and their feet and hands were purple. Their clothes were also soaked in urine.
Investigators determined that the two were in extreme danger of suffocation because of the bags, and the couple claimed they would check on them every fifty miles to make sure the bags did not cave in on them.
"When you deal with crimes against children it really hits home," says Fortney, "All of us are parents or aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, so it hits home."
The infants were placed in protective custody and turned over to the county human resources office.
Smith was charged with wanton endangerment and criminal abuse.
Police say when Cramer arrived at the jail, they discovered methamphetamine in her purse. She was charged with possession of a controlled substance and promoting prison contraband along with wanton endangerment and criminal abuse.
The two are both being held on a $10,000 cash bond. A preliminary hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. Apr. 2.