• 72°

Woman indicted after leaving 3 children — 1 an infant — in car while shopping

BEAUMONT — A 24-year-old Beaumont woman who police believe left three young children including an infant unattended in a car while shopping at Walmart was indicted for abandoning a child.

Once arrested, the woman, identified as Keera Mae Bennett, fought the officer and spat in his face, authorities said.

A Jefferson County grand jury returned the indictment this week for the Jan. 7, 2020, incident that occurred at the Walmart on Dowlen Road in Beaumont.

A Beaumont Police officer was working a second job at the store when he was flagged down by a woman who said she saw multiple infants left unsupervised in the store’s parking lot, according to the probable cause affidavit.

The officer waited with the children for approximately 15 minutes until the woman and a second person exited the store. It was later determined by using the store’s security cameras that the children were left unsupervised for approximately an hour in what the officer noted as a high crime and high drug area.

The children were ages 2 months, 13 months and the oldest being a few weeks shy of 7 years old.

When the officer went to place Bennett under arrest in handcuffs she reportedly turned toward him and spat on the left side of his face. When he tried to grab her hands she began using force by yanking both hands away from his grasp, the document read.

She was ultimately placed under arrest and has since bonded out of jail.

An indictment is not a final conviction of guilt; it is only a ruling by the grand jury that allows the district attorney’s office to proceed with a criminal case.