Felony charge against inattentive dad reduced
A Stafford father who was charged with a felony after his 2-year-old was found alone and shoeless at the edge of a creek on March 6 pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor Thursday.
John Fuller, 28, pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor in Stafford Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. He received no jail time, but was ordered to complete a parenting class.
According to prosecutor Michael Hardiman, the child’s mother went to the DMV that day and told Fuller to watch the baby, who was sleeping at the time.
The child woke up and, without Fuller’s knowledge, left the home. An elderly resident who lives on Garrison Woods Drive saw the little girl that afternoon walking toward his shed.
The man told police that the little girl ran into the woods before he could get to her to get her out of the cold.
Deputies were called and quickly found tiny footprints in the snow. They followed the footprints and found the child sitting near the creek, shivering but unharmed.
She was returned to her mother, who had returned home by now and had called the police herself to report the missing child.
Hardiman said Fuller didn’t realize the child was gone until the mother returned home.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404