Oklahoma boy dies in sweltering car after grandma left him locked with no AC while she gambled for six hours
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA: A grandmother who previously pleaded guilty to causing the death of her young grandson was sentenced to almost two decades in prison.
Alann Jean Orr, 50, was accused of letting her five-year-old grandson die after leaving him in her car in a casino parking lot on a hot summer afternoon with no air conditioning as she gambled inside.
According to an affidavit in support of a search warrant signed in Oklahoma County District Court, Orr had been caring for the boy on June 21, 2018, when she went to the Kickapoo Casino in Harrah, Oklahoma with him.
Having arrived at the casino at approximately 1.23 pm, she left the five-year-old in the car and went inside, coming back more than six hours later. During this time, the young boy had been in the car with no air conditioning on a day where temperatures in the city soared as high as 90-degrees Fahrenheit.
Approximately 15 minutes after she left the casino, Orr called 911 and reported that her grandson had choked and was not breathing. Police officers then met the 50-year-old at the Harrah Police Department and attempted to resuscitate the child but noted that, unfortunately, rigor mortis had already begun.
Just one week after the incident, an Oklahoma mother was arrested and charged with child endangerment after she spent over 20 minutes in a liquor store after leaving her 14-month-old baby in her scorching hot car. Reports from the time said the temperature was approximately 88 degrees with a heat index of 91 degrees, and that the infant was only wearing a wet diaper and was in desperate need of medical attention.
On April 17, 2019, a federal grand jury returned an indictment that charged Orr with second-degree felony murder by child neglect in Indian Country. The indictment alleged that Orr, who is a member of the Kickapoo Tribe, caused the death of her grandson by "willfully failing to provide adequate shelter and supervision while she was responsible for a child's health, safety, and welfare."
The crime, it was reported, was subject to federal jurisdiction because the defendant and the victim were both Indians and the offense took place on tribal trust land.
A few months later, on July 30, 2019, Orr pleaded guilty to the indictment. During the plea hearing before US District Judge Scott Palk, she admitted she caused her grandson's death by leaving him unattended on a hot summer afternoon in the back seat of her car with no air conditioning.
She was facing a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a fine of $250,000, as well as five years of supervised release after any prison sentence.
Earlier this week, attorney Timothy J Downing announced that Palk ordered the 50-year-old to serve 210 months in federal prison for causing the death of the five-year-old boy. Furthermore, she was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release upon release from prison and pay $3,877.31 in restitution for funeral expenses to the Oklahoma Crime Victims Compensation Board.