Mom who abandoned kids at shelter not guilty by reason of insanity

Mom who abandoned kids at shelter not guilty by reason of insanity

A Cleveland mother will not be going to jail for leaving her kids at a shelter and walking away. A city court judge has found Alisha Houston not guilty by reason of insanity.

Back in May, security video showed a woman leaving the Harbor Light Shelter near downtown, but leaving her newborn baby girl and 1-year-old boy behind.

How could she do that? City Judge Pauline Tarver has found her mentally ill.

Cleveland child abuse investigators had to track down Houston, after she had hitchhiked to Franklin County. Houston ended up being charged with child endangering.

But a court psych evaluation led to the finding of not guilty by reason of insanity.

That means Houston will live in a private residence monitored by a mental health agency, but she will not be punished with jail time.

In May, a 19 Action News investigation found Houston has a history of parenting trouble. Cuyahoga County child welfare workers even had taken away three other kids from her, due to mental health issues.

A judge had allowed Houston to keep these kids, believing she was now more stable.

The kids abandoned in this case have been in foster care, and are still there.

The mental health agency will develop a plan to ease Houston back into the community over the next several months.

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