A Columbus woman left nine children between the ages of 2 and 12 alone in a Forrest Road residence with no food or water, according to testimony Wednesday in Recorder’s Court.
Alisha Evonnye McGhee, 26, pleaded not guilty to nine counts of second-degree child cruelty. She was ordered held in the Muscogee County Jail under bonds totaling $9,000.
Judge Julius Hunter bound the case over to Superior Court.
Columbus Police Cpl. Tiffany Duffie was called to the 4200 block of Forrest Road around 1:17 a.m. Tuesday to check on several unsupervised children.
She spoke to a man who left his four children at that residence under McGhee’s care.
He said his kids called him several times, starting around 11:45 p.m. Monday. They kept telling him they were thirsty and alone. He went to the house and found nine children in the home.
“We investigated the scene and saw that there was no more running water in the residence,” Duffie testified. “There were several empty jugs of water bottles around the residence, two empty pizza boxes and a can of cherries on the counter that had been pried open.”
Authorities called the parents of the other children and the Division of Family and Children Services.
Further investigation indicated that some of the children were left at her place as early as 7:45 p.m. Monday. The kids told officials she left them alone twice.
She allegedly left once to get pizza and then left a second time. She didn’t return until after authorities arrived on the scene, according to police.
McGhee told officials she left to get drinks for the children, but ended up running an errand for a friend who was locked out of her home.
“She stated that she had only been gone approximately 45 minutes,” Duffie told the court. “However, we had informed her at that time that we had been there on the scene for an hour.”
McGhee was taken into custody at 3 a.m. She didn’t testify in court.