Guilty plea: Mother leaves infant in ice chest with gas can

Jami Ranson (Source: EBRSO)
Jami Ranson (Source: EBRSO)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Ponchatoula, La. woman pleaded guilty Tuesday morning after being charged with child desertion. She was accused of putting her child in an ice chest, along with a gas can, and closing the lid.

Jami Ranson, 38, the mother of the infant pleaded guilty to child desertion and possession of schedule II drugs.

Baton Rouge Police say a woman heard Ranson outside of her house with an infant on September 2, 2013 just after midnight.

Don Copolla with Baton Rouge Police said the witness saw Ranson put the baby in the ice chest with the gas can; that is when the witness says she took the baby out of the ice chest and called police. When police arrived, Copolla says Child Services was called and they took the child.

Ranson was charged with one count of child desertion and possession of schedule 2 drugs. The possession charge comes after police say Ranson had prescription anxiety medication.

The child was taken to a local hospital to be checked out and was later released unharmed. Ranson has three children ranging in ages from 19 to 3 months. They are under the supervision of their grandmother.

Ranson was arrested and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

Ranson was sentenced to six months, but was given time served - and a $500 fine for child desertion. She was also sentenced to four years probation on the drug charge.

She is required to pay $60 a month for four years for substance abuse and mental health evaluation. She is subject to random alcohol testing. She is not allowed to go into bars and she is required to have a job. She is also required to comply with any requests from the Department of Children and Family Services.

She is also not allowed to be involved in any criminal conduct. She is required to also pay a $50 fine to the Louisiana Commission of Law Enforcement to be used for drug education.

Ranson is scheduled to be back in court on February 21, 2014 for a review of her progress.

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