Woman charged with leaving baby in hot car appears in court

08/12/2014 6:34 PM

08/12/2014 6:35 PM

An Atwater woman charged with leaving her infant son in a hot car appears in court today for a bail review hearing.

Amanda R. Sagmiller pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony count of child endangerment, according to Merced Superior Court records.

Sagmiller, 26, remains behind bars on $130,000 bail at the John Latorraca Correctional Facility, according to Merced County Jail booking records. She is scheduled to appear today before Judge Ronald W. Hansen for a bail review hearing.

She was arrested Aug. 5 after Atwater police found her 3-month-old son just before 4 p.m. in a locked 1999 Dodge Caravan parked outside a grocery store in the 2800 block of Shaffer Road. Officers said Sagmiller left the child unattended inside the vehicle while she went grocery shopping.

Weather records show the temperature in Atwater climbed above 90 degrees around 4 p.m. Aug. 5.

Sagmiller’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Chris Loethen, was assigned the case recently and said he was still waiting to meet with his client. “I can say that I’ve reviewed the police reports and, though it appears it was a hot day outside, the time period in question only appears to cover about 25 minutes,” Loethen said.

Monika Saini, the deputy district attorney prosecuting the case, said it was too soon to comment on the matter.

Atwater police described the infant as “extremely lethargic and was soaked with perspiration and slow in responding.”

The child was rushed to the hospital where he was treated and released. Police said the infant is expected to recover. He was turned over to his father.

Merced County Child Welfare Services is involved in the investigation.

Sagmiller was already wanted in Merced County on a warrant charging her with failing to appear in court on a prior felony charge, according to Merced Superior Court records.

The Merced County District Attorney’s Office in March charged Sagmiller with embezzling from a Walmart in Merced County. According to the complaint filed in Merced Superior Court, Sagmiller is accused of stealing at least several hundred dollars from the store between July 11, 2013, and Sept. 3, 2013.

She is scheduled to appear in court on the embezzlement case Aug. 18, according to court records.

Sagmiller was on probation in connection with a drunken-driving conviction in 2013, according to court records.

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