In court Friday, a judge denied bond for the 24-year-old mother accused of working a full shift while her toddler son and baby girl sat outside in a car. The little boy died shortly afterwards. Brittney Downing is charged with felony child abuse and neglect. One day after the death of Downing's second child, prosecutors said in court they are considering more charges.
Commonwealth Attorney Shannon Taylor says Downing showed up to work at 9 a.m. Sunday and got off at 4 p.m. She says during that time period, Downing only came out once.
"We are mourning the loss of our grand children," said the suspect's father Steven Downing.
He and his wife are pastors of a Hopewell church. The couple had little to say following a judge's decision to hold their daughter without bond.
In court, prosecutors pointed to several separate charges Downing faces in different counties, including another felony. This one, in Colonial Heights where Downing is accused of accepting money by false pre-tenses. Then there are misdemeanor charges for petty larceny in Chesterfield and driving with a suspended license in Henrico. Each case is awaiting trial.
"We love our daughter Brittney deeply," Downing added.
Her defense tried to paint a positive picture, saying the young mother was once an honor roll student and started college before she became pregnant. Downing's attorney, Linda Lambert, requested that her client's hearings be closed from the public due to all of the attention.
The judge said though the details here are sensitive, she wouldn't close the case from the public.
"We just ask that you give us just a little time to mourn. God bless you. Thank you so much," Mr. Downing said before walking away from reporters.
The state says when Downing showed up to work that morning, she actually did park in the shade, but when the afternoon hit, the sun became too hot to bear.
Following court, Lambert said she had no comment about the case.
Downing's next hearing on the felony neglect charges is set for July 22.
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