The Herald Citizen reports that a Cookeville woman has been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and theft of property over $1,000 for acting as the getaway driver for her juvenile sons. Allegedly, the 11-year-old and 12-year-old boys had a cart full of goods at the Algood Walmart, and after they were stopped by a greeter who asked for a receipt, the boys said their mom had it in the car and ran away. According to the Herald Citizen, the warrant states that the mother admitted that the boys were her sons, that she knew they were stealing, and that everyone in her household had stolen from Walmart.
Under Tennessee Code Annotated 37-1-156, contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a Class A misdemeanor. It carries a penalty of up to 11 months, 29 days in jail, and up to a $2,500 fine. T.C.A. § 40-35-111. Theft of property over $1,000 is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of one to six years, depending on range, and up to a $3,000 fine. T.C.A. § 39-14-105; T.C.A. § 40-35-11.
In addition to the criminal punishments the mother is facing, it is extremely likely that the Department of Children’s Services will take out a petition to find the children dependent and neglected. DCS is often tougher to deal with than the district attorney’s office (and for good reason). She likely won’t get her kids back until she proves to DCS that this will never happen again.