ELKO – A Spring Creek woman was sentenced to 30 days in jail in district court for leaving her baby in the car while she gambled in a casino.
Jamie Lee Benson, 29, pleaded guilty to child neglect or endangerment, a gross misdemeanor, in Elko District Court on Nov. 13. She was sentenced Feb. 26.
Judge Nancy Porter gave Benson a suspended sentence of 364 days in jail with credit for two days served and placed her on probation for three years.
The conditions of the probation require Benson to serve 30 days in the Elko County Jail, take parenting classes for a toddler or preschool-aged child within the first six months of her probation, and abstain from alcohol, marijuana use and gambling.
Benson declined to make a statement on her behalf during the sentencing hearing.
Benson was arrested on March 9, 2017 by Elko County Sheriff’s deputies, who said she left her 14-month-old child unattended in the back seat of an unlocked and running vehicle.
Benson was found by a gaming machine inside Dottie’s Casino in Spring Creek. She told deputies she stopped to purchase cigarettes and had been inside for approximately 25 minutes.
According to the sheriff’s report, further investigation revealed Benson had been inside the casino for about one hour. They also reported that the car’s heater was “turned all the way up and the interior of the vehicle was extremely hot.”
At the time of the arrest, the child was transported to Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital and placed into the custody of the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services.