A Keavy duo is facing child abuse charges after Laurel County Sheriff’s deputies called to do a welfare check on a five-year-old child reported finding a large glass jar full of marijuana within easy reach of the child.
Deputies arrested the child’s mother, identified as 24-year old Carrie Gregory and her boyfriend, identified as 23-year-old Daniel Ball at the residence on Rooks Branch Road.
According to Sheriff John Root, deputies were called to the scene about 6 p.m. when the father brought the child back from his weekend visitation.
“The child’s father stated that he had smelled a strong smell of marijuana when dropping the child off,” Root stated.
When deputies arrived at the scene, they reported that the child was in the custody of Ball.
“During the investigation, deputies located marijuana in a large glass jar within five feet of the five-year-old,” Root stated. “Deputies also located a fully loaded 9 mm pistol under a pillow within three feet of the child.
Finally, Root stated that deputies found 16 marijuana plants that were part of an indoor grow operations.
Ball was charged with first-degree criminal abuse of a child under the age of 12, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, cultivating marijuana plants, trafficking in marijuana – less than eight ounces, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
As the investigation continued, Root stated that deputies made contact with Gregory who was at work in London.
Root stated that Gregory has allegedly went to church, came home and smoked marijuana and then left the child with Ball while she went to work.
Deputies determined that Gregory was under the influence of a controlled substance.
Gregory was charged with third-degree criminal abuse of a child under the age of 12, second-degree wanton endangerment, and public intoxication – controlled substances.
Ball and Gregory each pleaded not guilty to the respective charges Monday in Laurel District Court and are scheduled to return to court December 20 for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is probable cause to present the case to a Laurel County grand jury.
Judge John Chappell set Gregory’s bond at $1,500 cash with the additional condition that she have no contact with the child.
Chappell set Ball’s bond at $10,000 cash with the additional condition that he have no contact with the child.