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Kingsport mother charged with abuse, neglect

June 3rd, 2014 2:23 pm by Rain Smith

Kingsport mother charged with abuse, neglect

Julia A. Smith, 39, of 1520 Redwood Drive, Kingsport.

A woman who was hospitalized after being located unresponsive in a car, allegedly leaving her three young children unattended for an entire night as she tried to 'relax,' has been arrested by Kingsport police.

Julia A. Smith, 39, of 1520 Redwood Drive, turned herself in at the Kingsport Police Department on Monday. An affidavit filed May 30 in Kingsport General Sessions Court states she is charged with three counts of child abuse or neglect.

According to the court document, on May 22 Kingsport police were alerted to an intoxicated woman outside an apartment on Dale Street. When officers arrived at 8 a.m. they reportedly found a Chevrolet with the passenger side door open, while Smith was observed lying across the front seats.

For five minutes police unsuccessfully attempted to wake Smith, according to the affidavit, while a witness stated Smith had been in that position inside the car since the previous night. At an adjacent apartment police reportedly found the front door not fully closed, then spotted a man inside "passed out in the floor...his arm completely purple."

Upon entering the apartment police allegedly located a 4-year-old girl, identified as one of Smith's children, standing beside the unresponsive man. The girl reportedly told officers that the man had been like that throughout the night, adding that her two siblings were asleep in another room. Court records identify those children as 7 and 11-years-old, the man as their uncle.

The Department of Children's Services were called to the scene. Meanwhile, Smith and her brother were transported to Holston Valley Medical Center. Court records state they each remained unresponsive for an extended period of time, with medical staff advising it would be days before they were released.

The next day a KPD officer returned to the hospital, questioning Smith about the incident. She reportedly claimed to have been upset about "her child finding an uncapped syringe in her house," blaming the drug paraphernalia on a live-in boyfriend. She then allegedly cited other family problems that had raised her stress levels, saying she took three pills to try and "relax."

Smith acknowledged the children were with her at her brother's apartment when she took the drugs, but claimed she did not intend to harm herself or pass out. The affidavit states her brother was also interviewed about the incident, telling police that the pills were Xanax.

Kingsport police obtained a subpoena for Smith's hospital medical records and toxicology report, allegedly revealing that she tested positive for opiates, benzodiazepine, marijuana, alcohol and Suboxone. "The report also confirmed that Julia was completely unresponsive due to extreme intoxication levels," states the affidavit from Kingsport police.

Based on the evidence reportedly collected, and her children being left unattended for the entire night, Smith was charged with child abuse and neglect. After turning herself in at the Kingsport Police Department on Monday she was booked into the city jail.

As of Tuesday afternoon, a check of Kingsport police records do not indicate her brother has been charged in the incident.

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