DUCHESNE — A Duchesne County mother has admitted that she left her 3-year-old son outside in a cold car while she and her boyfriend were inside a bar drinking for more than two hours.
Sara Elizabeth Eitel, 22, had initially been charged in 8th District Court with child abandonment, a third-degree felony. On Friday she pleaded guilty to the same offense reduced to a class A misdemeanor as part of a plea bargain with prosecutors.
On April 13, deputies found Eitel's son asleep in a car outside Well's Club, 47 E. Main. The engine was not running, the hood of the car was cold to the touch and it was about 50 degrees outside, according to charging documents.
A deputy entered the bar, where he said Eitel and her boyfriend, 25-year-old Jonathan Edward Dan Carver, eventually stepped forward to claim responsibility for the boy.
Eitel and Carver told the deputy they'd been in the bar for "approximately one hour," charging documents state. Bar employees, however, said the couple had been there for at least 2 ½ hours when the deputy arrived.
A breath test administered after their arrests showed that Eitel had a blood-alcohol content of 0.158, while Carver's was 0.176, according to the charges. In court Friday, prosecutors also noted that there were several open containers of alcohol found inside the car where the boy was sleeping.
Eitel's guilty plea will be held in abeyance for two years. If she pays a $750 court fee, complies with the terms of a state Division of Child and Family Services program, abstains from alcohol use and has no new criminal violations, the misdemeanor charge will be dismissed.
The child abandonment case against Carver is still pending. His preliminary hearing is set for July 11.
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