State Watch

Judge finds no probable cause in case of mom accused of putting son in car’s trunk to avoid COVID-19 exposure


A judge on Thursday ruled there is no probable cause in the case of a Texas woman charged with child endangerment for allegedly placing her COVID-19 positive child in a car trunk to avoid being exposed to the virus.

The judge left the door open, however, for prosecutors to continue investigating Sarah Beam, a 41-year-old teacher with Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District near Houston, according to local news outlet KHOU 11. She may face charges in connection with the incident in the future.

Harris County District Attorney spokesperson Dane Schiller said in a statement that prosecutors respect the decision but “will continue with our work,” KHOU reported.

“We will review all the evidence gathered by police and make a determination on how to proceed, including the possibility of presenting this case to a grand jury so that representatives of the people of Harris County can decide whether a criminal charge is appropriate,” he said.

Beam, who was placed on administrative leave from the school district, had been released on bond over the weekend, according to KHOU 11.

Prosecutors charged Beam with child endangerment after she allegedly put her 13-year-old son in the trunk of her car at a COVID-19 testing site in Harris County on Jan. 3, local outlet KPRC 2 Houston reported

Officials first became aware of the incident after a noise coming from the trunk was heard by a witness, and the trunk was later unlatched by the Texas teacher to reveal her son inside, according to the outlet.

Beam allegedly told authorities she was taking her son to the site for further testing but had locked him in the trunk to avoid exposing herself to the virus, according to KPRC 2 Houston.

Tags child endangerment COVID-19 Harris County Harris County District Attorney Houston Sarah Beam Texas

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