GASTON, SC (WACH) - Lexington County deputies trying to serve an arrest warrant on a woman wanted for driving with a suspended license found a toddler, wearing only a diaper, locked alone in a bedroom of a home.
Sheriff James R Metts says 21-year-old Tabitha Shea Jones was arrested on Tuesday on charges of unlawful neglect of a child by a legal custodian and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute.
Authorities say the diaper the 2-year-old boy was wearing required changing and a bowl of cereal had been left on the floor in the bedroom.
Arrest warrants allege Jones left the child around 1:15 p.m. Tuesday without any adult supervision. Metts says the boy was left alone for around two hours.
According to Metts, deputies went to serve the warrant around 1:30 Tuesday and found the front door at the home had been forced open and could not be secured. Officers detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside.
Metts says deputies entered the home due to "exigent circumstances" and began searching for the woman, but did not find her. Then they found the locked bedroom with the toddler inside. No one else was home.
Deputies executed a search warrant at the home and found Jones and two men who live with her at the Gaston home had approximately 128 grams of marijuana, water pipes that are used to smoke marijuana, scales and plastic bags used to store marijuana that is offered for sale, Metts said.
The two men, Brandon Lee Perryman, 22, and John David Swygert, 23, are charged with possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute. Perryman was being held on Wednesday at the county Detention Center on a $10,000 bond. Swygert was released from the county Detention Center on Wednesday after posting a $10,000 bond, according to Metts.
Jones appeared in court for a bond hearing Wednesday afternoon. Bond is set at $30,000.