A judge discharged a Texas mom accused of putting her 13-year-old son into the trunk of her car. Her son had COVID-19, so she allegedly put him in the trunk in order to avoid being exposed to the virus.
Sarah Beam, 41, was initially charged with a felony on January 3 after her son was discovered in the trunk of her car. She was charged with endangering a child.
Police were called to the testing site for the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District after receiving a report that a health services official found a child in the trunk of her car. The warrant said that the director of health services stated she had been gathering information from cars in a line awaiting COVID-19 testing when “she found a female driver, later identified as Sarah Beam having her child in the trunk of her car.”
When speaking to police, the health director said “the defendant confirmed that her son, K.H., was in the trunk of the car due [to] the child having been tested positive for Covid.” According to the warrant, the mother let the health director know that she was trying to prevent her own exposure to the virus while transporting her son to the testing site for “additional testing.”
The police confirmed by reviewing surveillance cameras that the child “exited the trunk of the car and entered into the back seat of the vehicle on the passenger side.”
Judge Chris Morton said at a hearing on Thursday that he found no probable cause in Beam’s case and discharged her, Harris County court records show. “We absolutely respect the judge’s ruling and we will continue with our work,” Dane Schiller, spokesperson for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office told NBC News.
Beam, who is a teacher in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (CFISD) was released from jail Sunday on $1,500 bond.
The school district released a statement, saying, “CFIPD was alerted that a child was in the trunk of a car at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site last week. Law enforcement conducted a full investigation, resulting in a warrant for arrest. Thankfully, the child was not harmed. Sarah Beam most recently worked as a teacher in CFISD and is currently on administrative leave.”
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
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