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Snell sentenced for attempted child abuse

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By Susan Sharp

 By SUSAN SHARP

sharp@lafollettepress.com

 

A woman who drove into Cove Lake with her children strapped in the backseat of her car has pled guilty to felony charges.

On Monday Amanda Snell agreed that in October 2009, she committed attempted aggravated child abuse and attempted aggravated child abuse with a child less than eight years of age.

She attempted to harm her children “other than by accidental means,” Senior Assistant District Attorney General Mike Ripley said at the hearing. “This resulted in serious bodily injury” to them.

Admitting her guilt, Snell was teary eyed, as she stood shackled at the waist. Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton gave her credit for the time she spent in jail from Oct. 2009 until February of this year. He also sentenced her to 10 years probation. A condition of her probation is Snell will remain under the care of a mental health professional taking all psychiatric medications prescribed for her.

Authorities believe Snell purposely drove her 1996 Honda into the lake, as her children sat in the backseat, in October of last year. They were four and nine at the time, according to police.

When authorities arrived at Cove Lake State Park that morning they allegedly found Snell incoherent and her children standing beside the road.

Police had begun searching for Snell after the children’s father and guardian called authorities earlier that morning. He reported to police Snell had taken the children from the babysitter, without permission, saying she was taking them to school, police reports said.

Even with her Campbell County charges disposed of, Snell still has charges to face in Anderson County. She was transported back to that jail after her hearing.