Colorado mother Megan McKeon likely faces a long prison sentence for allegedly leaving her 3-year-old son at home alone for nearly 20 hours, ultimately returning to find the child dead.
The court shocked observers by first dropping three misdemeanor child abuse charges against McKeon, who tried to plead guilty. But that was only because the judge wants stiffer charges.
The 24-year-old negligent mother left her child, Austin, alone in their small Steamboat Springs cabin, located on a camping site, when she went to work. She later told detectives that since she had left food, juice, and a movie for her son she thought he would be fine. She had done the same thing over 20 times before, she said.
After finishing her shift at city market, McKeon spent the night at a man’s house. Returning home the next morning, she found her son face up and lifeless on the floor. Human waste and discarded food, as well as razor blades in easy reach, were part of the tragic scene.
McKeon was jailed on $250,000 bond.
The misdemeanor charges would have carried a maximum sentence of 42 months. Judge James Garrecht is waiting on toxicology reports to confirm the boy’s official cause of death; prescription drugs are suspected to be involved. He hopes to hit McKeon with homicide charges,
The boy’s father, 22-year-old Tyler Davis, is in prison for failing to register as a sex offender. Davis was indicted on felony charges of soliciting sex from underage teenage girls.
Justin’s grandmother, Charity O’Konski, reportedly yelled “she killed a baby” in the courtroom when the misdemeanor charges were dropped.
O’Konski, who is Davis’ mother, says she would have taken care of the boy if McKeon had just told her help was needed.
“All she had to do was call me. There’s no if, ands or buts to what happened, it’s her fault no matter what happened. She is accountable for that baby,” O’Konski told CBS. “Nothing is ever going to be enough, because he will never come back to us but she took his life away and the only way to take her life away is to let her sit behind those bars and let her think about what she did.”
“We’re never going to have little Austin back again,” said O’Konski. “But for his justice and all the family that loved him, she needs to pay for what she did.”