Shaina Bell was found not guilty after being arrested for leaving her oldest child to watch her two younger children while she worked, according to WKBN. Bell was working at Little Caesar’s in Youngstown, Ohio when she was arrested. The police found her three children at a Motel 6 where the family had been staying on Feb. 11.
Bell, 24, was arrested and charged with two misdemeanor counts of child endangerment. She spent one night in jail before being released. A pretrial hearing was held at the Girard Municipal Court on May 26, and the young mother was found not guilty on all charges.
Bell’s job at Little Caesars is approximately .08 miles (a three-minute drive) from the Motel 6, where she stayed with her children, who are nine, seven and three. She told WKBN that she had to work and thought her oldest daughter could watch her two younger children for a few hours. The single mom added that her job was close by. It was the children’s father who alerted the police.
“I had to go to work. My daughter decided that she wanted to stay here. My daughter told me that this is where she wants to be, and I felt that she was old enough to be able to stay here with her sister for a few hours because my job is right down the street,” Bell said.
“My kids bring me joy,” she added. “They make me laugh. They’re, they’re my world. I would never do anything to harm my kids. My kids are everything to me. That’s all I do is go to work and take care of my kids.”
Judge Jeffrey Adler said that Bell should have received a summons and dealt with children’s services instead of being arrested.
“When the matter arose, I was personally offended that this young woman was arrested and taken to jail instead of just being served with a summons. That should never have happened,” he said. “People with more serious offenses are not being taken to jail at this time. Based on everything I know about the case, it could have been handled a lot differently. I think Miss Bell learned a lesson here.”