BUCYRUS — A Crestline woman appeared in Crawford County Common Pleas Court on Monday where she pleaded guilty to one count of child endangerment, a third-degree felony.
Brittany Hoffer, 28, of Crestline, faced 36 months in prison. In exchange for her plea, Hoffer received 30 days in jail and five years on community control.
Hoffer had been watching a YouTube channel with her 11-year-old child, when her toddler made his way to the second floor of the apartment and fell out of a second story window. The child was left on the ground crying and undiscovered by Hoffer for an extended time.
Assistant Prosecutor Ryan Hoovler told the court that his goal was to get the appropriate mental health treatment for Hoffer so that she could become a responsible parent.
“The state understands that accidents happen. I think every parent can share their own story of a scary situation,” Hoovler said. “What troubles the state is that this child was crying, and the defendant did not respond. She did not notice her child was gone and go looking for him. We believe this is a mental health issue.”
Defense Attorney Tani Eyer then addressed the court.
“Your honor, my client is remorseful. She lives in a complex where a lot of children live and it’s frequent that children are crying,” Eyer said. “She has taken counseling while in jail and wants to do better.”
Leuthold had some insights of his own to share.
“Your children do not need a friend who watches videos with them all day,” Leuthold said. “They need someone who is responsible. You need to be working, but for some reason you aren’t. You came into my courtroom today with goofy pink striped hair. If I were an employer, I wouldn’t think you were very responsible.
“So here we are. You’re messing around the house all day, not working, kids are falling out of the windows and now you have a felony on your record,” Leuthold continued. “You could go to prison if you don’t follow through on the conditions of your community control. And if you fail, I will send you to prison.”
Leuthold told Hoffer he expects her to grow up, get a job and set an example for her children. He said he did not think Hoffer was evil or bad, just overwhelmed and without direction.
Leuthold appointed probation officer Dan Wurm to supervise Hoffer. He told Wurm he wants him to make home visits and be sure Hoffer cooperates with the safety plan put in place by Crawford County Children’s Services.
“I’m the boss now, and you will do as I say or I’ll put you in prison and you won’t do well there,” Leuthold said. “In one year, I expect you to have a job, be responsible, acting like a grown woman whose children are doing well.”
In other court news, Shanna DeVore, 41, of North Robinso,n will spend the next year on probation. DeVore pleaded guilty to one count of forgery. She admitted to using her sister’s identification instead of her own when she was involved in a traffic stop. DeVore signed her sister’s name to the ticket, leaving her sister with a record. Leuthold placed DeVore on community control, but warned her if she failed to complete the terms and conditions of her community control, he would send her to prison for 12 months.
Caleb Wireman, 24, of Galion, was sentenced to 12 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to one count of possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony. Leuthold said he would consider an early release for Wireman. Wireman had already completed a seven-month sentence successfully. Leuthold noted that the charge addressed today was an old charge that surfaced after he completed his first sentence.