(Chattanooga Times Free Press) A 32-year-old Marion County, Tenn., mother faces an April court date on child neglect charges after deputies found her driving ahead of her young daughters as she made them walk miles to school on Valley View Highway.
The charges are linked to an investigation launched March 1 after Marion County sheriff’s deputy Chris Ladd and another deputy responded to a call about the situation and spotted two girls with a dog “walking the fog line just south of Ketner Mill Road and a gold Cadillac parked on the shoulder, engine running, just north of Ketner Mill Road,” Ladd’s report states.
The mother, Lisa Marie Palmer of Chicken Dave Road near Whitwell, told deputies her daughters were being punished for missing the bus, Marion County Sheriff Ronnie “Bo” Burnett said.
There was no phone number listed on the report to reach Palmer for comment, and court officials said she doesn’t have an attorney yet. She is scheduled for an initial court appearance on April 18 on charges of child neglect and driving without a license.
When they got to the area where the girls were walking, Ladd and the other officer observed Palmer and the children about 50 yards — 150 feet — apart with Palmer in the car ahead of them, the report states.
It “appeared as if she was driving ahead of the children and allowing them to walk and catch up to her vehicle and to proceed with that action until the children reached the school,” Ladd states in the report.
Ladd estimated the girls already had walked about a mile and a half and still had about two more miles to go.