ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A Hudson woman, who is accused of endangering child made an appearance in court Monday.
Rosa Garcia, 44, was charged with state-jail felony child endangerment after police say she left her 10-year-old son home alone.
Garcia was offered a plea deal, but she declined.
"I'm not guilty, I'm not guilty," Garcia said.
Garcia said she doesn't understand why she's facing a state-jail felony after leaving her sick 10-year-old son at home while she went out for medicine.
"They asked why did the cops arrest me. I said, 'I don't know. My son was sick I'm not guilty,'" Garcia said.
According to the arrest affidavit, Garcia left him home with padlocks on the doors.
"I don't know where the keys were. My little boy who's 15 took the keys," Garcia said.
She explained her older son locked the door on his way out to school. He left the keys in a nearby plant.
"The CPS came to my house looking around, and they said you don't need anything. You have everything," Garcia said.
Garcia said CPS saw her as a fit mother.
"It's not a little boy of two or three years," Garcia said.
She said her son was large and taller than her at the time of the incident.
"Well, I think times changed," said Captain Lenderman of the Angelina County Sheriff's Office.
Lenderman recalled a time when there were "latch key" kids. These kids got home before their parents got off and just waited. The consequences for children left home alone weren't as severe.
"We were a little more laid back. We lived in a rural area, everyone knew everyone, and there was the village theory," Lenderman said.
Section 22.041 of the Texas Penal Code states a person commits an offense of abandoning a child if they intentionally leave the child under the age of 15 in a place under circumstances that expose the child to an unreasonable risk of harm.
"Age, maturity level, are they capable of being home alone?" said Deanna Wallace, the Executive Producer of Harold's House.
The affidavit says in this particular case, one factor was ignored.
"Do you have emergency plans in place? Can your child get out in case of a fire?" Wallace said.
"There are so many more things that can happen," Lenderman said.
Garcia decided to maintain her innocence, and she now awaits a trial with a jury.
Both the district attorney and the defense attorney declined to make comments on the case. Garcia's trial is set for June 8th.