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Two mothers in separate cases face endangering welfare charge

It was just after 1 p.m. on Oct. 4 when city police responded to the 900 block of First Street because once again Lashonda Myers’ 2-year-old son had wandered out of the house undetected and entered a neighbor’s home, according to an affidavit filed at the office of District Judge Christian Frey.

The neighbor alerted police after the toddler had been visiting for about 30 minutes, the affidavit stated. Myers, 40, of 970 First St. was asleep inside her home and was awakened only after an officer pounding on her door, the affidavit stated. This was the second time in a 10-hour period that the minor walked out of the house while Myers was sleeping, police said. During the early-morning hours of the same day, the child walked out of the house and was safely returned only after police were alerted.

During the early morning hours of Sept. 30, the toddler walked out of the house unnoticed by the mother, police said. On that morning, Myers was given a warning, but when the third incident occurred last week, twice on the same day, she was taken into custody and arraigned before Frey on a charge of endangering the welfare of a child and released on $10,000 bail.

Another mother facing the same charge is Deionne Morton, 20, of 610 Second St., who is accused of leaving her two children, ages 1 and 2, home alone for about 25 minutes on Friday, city police said in court papers.

Maintenance staff for her apartment came to the address about noon and discovered the front door was open, police said. They yelled inside to see if anyone was at home, police said, adding that the staff discovered two toddlers alone on the second floor. Morton soon arrived at the apartment, but told police she was only gone “maybe three to four minutes,” according to an affidavit. However, surveillance video showed the mother leaving the apartment about 11:55 a.m. and not returning until 12:20 p.m., police said.

Court records stated that the county’s Children and Youth Department were already investigating reports that the two children were malnourished as well as another incident on May 18 when one of the children was treated at UPMC Williamsport for a cigarette burn. Following Morton’s arraignment before District Judge William Solomon, she was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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