An assistant coach for the Mooresville freshman girls’ basketball team could face up to three years in prison if she is convicted of leaving her infant son in her car while she played basketball.
Rachel V. Kenney, 23, 1289 Crafton Court, has been charged with one count of neglect of a dependant as a D felony after a Mooresville Police officer found her 9-month-old infant son asleep in the back seat of her car.
When contacted about Kenney’s arrest, school officials said they can’t comment on personnel matters. They did specify that Kenney, as an assistant freshmen coach, does not teach at the school and has never been an employee. Coaches work under temporary contracts. The freshmen girls’ basketball season ended on Jan. 29.
According to the probable cause affidavit, around 2 p.m., on Jan. 30, Officer Chad Richhart was called to Mooresville High School after an employee “observed a tall girl wearing shorts” get out of a vehicle. The employee noticed the vehicle was still running and when they went to check on it, saw the infant in the back seat.
According to Richhart, the vehicle was not in a marked parking spot and was backed up to a snow pile that nearly blocked its exhaust pipe. Richhart reported that the heat was on and the doors were unlocked. The report said the infant, bundled up in a coat and cap, was lying on the back seat of the vehicle.
Richhart ran the vehicle’s license plate and found it was registered to Kenney.
Richhart notified the school, which called Kenney to the scene. There was a pep rally going on at the time, and Kenney was taking part in it.
Kenney told Richhart that her son had been sick and needed a nap. When he finally fell asleep, she did not want to wake him up when she went into the gym, so she left him in her vehicle. Kenney said she was taking part in the faculty versus student basketball game for homecoming. Kenney said she is the school’s freshmen basketball coach.
When asked by Richhart why she did not leave her son at home, Kenney said there was no one there to take care of him. When informed by Richhart she should have stayed home with her son, Kenney replied, “I had to play in this basketball game for the pep rally.”
According to his report, when Richhart told Kenney that her son was her first priority and not a high school activity, she became aggravated with him.
Kenney reportedly told Richhart that, “I am Rachel Kenney and nobody would take my baby. People don’t steal cars in Mooresville and besides, there are cameras everywhere.”
Richhart said he tried to explain to Kenney the dangers of leaving a child in a vehicle, but “she was completely oblivious to the dangers that she put her child in. Rachel showed no remorse and insisted that nothing would have happened to her child.”
Kenney told the officer that her brother was watching the car from Door Number 8, and he would have kept nothing from happening to the boy. Richhart said Kenney’s brother did not show while he was outside with her.
Richhart called the county’s child protective service and informed the people on duty of the situation. The officer said he was told to arrest Kenney and charge her with neglect of a dependant. Since Kenney is living with her mother, the officer was able release the boy to the mother’s custody.
When the mother arrived, Richhart said he explained what had happened. He said the mother told him she was, “disappointed with me for arresting her daughter.”
Richhart said the mother was, “like her daughter in the fact that she, too, thought she was immune to misfortune and did not think anything would have happened to the infant.”
Kenney was transported to the Morgan County Jail. Her case has been assigned to Morgan County Superior Court II. No court date had been set.