A south Arkansas mother whose 3-year-old drowned in a washing machine should not have had to surrender her newborn to the state months after an accident based on her “mindset,” the Arkansas Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
A three-judge appellate panel overturned a ruling of neglect by a Calhoun County circuit judge. It’s unclear whether the infant — now more than a year old — has been returned to her mother. The state Department of Human Services declined to comment on the status of any of the children of Brooke Haney. Her attorney did not respond to requests for comment.
After the toddler died in October 2015, Haney was charged with endangering the welfare of a minor, according to court records. Haney pleaded guilty and received probation. The Division of Children and Family Services took custody of her other two children, according to court records.
The next summer, pregnant with a fourth child, Haney told the state she planned to give birth later that year in Louisiana, closer to her family.
A Calhoun County circuit judge ruled in July 2016 that Haney had to surrender her yet-to-be-born child to the Arkansas Department of Human Services as soon as she was discharged from the hospital and returned to Arkansas.
Haney’s child was born Aug. 25, 2016, and, according to court records, she told doctors at the hospital in Livingston Parish, La., as well as that state’s child-services agency the number of her caseworker in Arkansas.
A few days after her child’s birth on a Sunday, Haney also tried to call her Arkansas…
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