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Fargo mom faces charges for leaving 7-year-old at hotel while she drank

FARGO - A Fargo mother faces felony child abuse charges after allegedly dropping off her 7-year-old son at a motel room after driving drunk, then leaving him there all night while she went to a party.

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FARGO – A Fargo mother faces felony child abuse charges after allegedly dropping off her 7-year-old son at a motel room after driving drunk, then leaving him there all night while she went to a party.

Court documents filed Tuesday in Cass County District Court say police tracked down April Lynne Manning, 29, just past 5:30 a.m. on Sept. 30 at her home in the 700 block of 31st Street North in Fargo.

Police were coming to talk to Manning after her fiancé called them claiming a relative had confronted Manning for leaving the child unattended.

When officers found her at home, Manning was still drunk from the night before, court documents allege. The child was with her, lying on the floor watching television in his pajamas.

Manning reeked of alcohol and slurred her words as she told Fargo police Officer David Cochran the child was fine and had been with her all day at her sister’s.

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A Breathalyzer test later showed she had 0.20 percent blood alcohol content, more than twice the legal limit for driving.

As she spoke, she told the officer her 7-year-old had been with her at the motel – then quickly realized her mistake.

Manning then allegedly told the officer she was at the Grand Inn to meet a man from Florida, Chris Johnson. She lied to her fiancé and told him she was meeting her brother instead, she told the officer.

After drinking for several hours with Johnson and having sex, she realized she was late to pick up her son from school, she said.

Manning told police she called the school and asking them to hold him in the after-school program. She told police she got there about 4 p.m. and drove the child to the motel, feeding him some candy and other vending machine items. At about 9 p.m., she drove him to her sister’s house in Fargo, Johnson picked up some meth on the way, she told the officer.

They told police they stayed at her sister’s, drinking with other people there until about 3:30 a.m., when she realized she forgot her son at the motel, court documents say.

That’s when she got back behind the wheel and fetched the sleeping boy from the Grand Inn and, still intoxicated, drove him back home to north Fargo, she told police.

The 7-year-old and a son born in 2013, a child Manning had with her fiancé, were not taken into protective custody because the fiancé was sober and able to care for the children, court documents say.

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Manning was charged with one count of child abuse, a Class C felony.

Her next court appearance has not yet been set.

Related Topics: CRIME
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