TULSA, Oklahoma — A Tulsa woman pleaded guilty to child neglect Thursday after one of her children was found locked in a metal dog cage while two others were unattended and her husband was passed out on painkillers and alcohol in their home.
She faces up to five years in prison at sentencing, which Tulsa County District Judge Kurt Glassco set for June 27. The woman's husband has pleaded not guilty to child neglect and faces an Oct. 7 trial, according to court records.
The Associated Press is not naming either parent in order to protect the children's identities.
Glassco read the mother's affidavit admitting that she left her three young children in the care of her husband, who had suffered a recent back injury and was taking powerful painkillers.
"I should have known that (my husband) would likely neglect my children while they were in his care," the mother wrote.
Her attorney, Ed Lindsey, said his client could not comment after the hearing, but said the plea was the best outcome under the circumstances.
"This event was in her best interest, although we may disagree with the state of Oklahoma," Lindsey said.
An assistant district attorney was not immediately available outside the courtroom for comment.
Last November, police found a 22-month-old girl locked in the animal crate in the couple's home, a 3-year-old child wandering around naked outside and another 3-year-old naked and unsupervised. Court records indicate the man was passed out inside the house.
A concerned neighbor called police after finding one of the children outside and getting no response when he knocked on the door as temperatures dropped into the low 40s.
Police officers knocked and also got no response. One of the officers peered inside a window and saw the girl in the dog cage. Police then kicked the door in. The children were immediately placed in protective custody.
The father later told police he had taken the powerful narcotic painkiller Oxycontin, the muscle relaxer Flexeril, the anti-seizure medication Dilantin and drank a 16-oz. Busch beer, according to court records.