Mom gets 8 years for leaving toddler in car overnight in sub-zero cold

BRIGHTON, Colo. — A mother has been sentenced to eight years in prison for leaving her 2-year-old son in a freezing car overnight during a snowstorm and then forgetting where he was.

Nicole Carmon, 28, of Denver pleaded guilty in November to negligent child abuse causing serious bodily injury and attempted first-degree assault in the December 2016 incident
In addition to prison time, Carmon was also sentenced Thursday to three years probation.

Carmon told detectives she downed six shots of vodka before leaving her son in the parking lot of a strip mall in the Denver suburb of Westminster, according to court documents.

Police found her son more than 14 hours later suffering from hypothermia and frostbite. The temperature had dropped to minus 8 degrees the night before, according to the National Weather Service.

Carmon’s Ford Fusion had been parked in front of a fast-food Chinese restaurant, covered in as much as 6 inches of snow. No footprints were visible around the car, and when officers got inside the vehicle, Carmon’s son was found partially buckled into his car seat.

The toddler’s babysitter called police in the morning after Carmon showed up at her house asking about her son. Karla Bergano of Westminster had been expecting to take care of the child the night before while Carmon worked a job in a strip club in the suburb.

“I knew something was wrong,” said Begano, who looked at news stories fearing a wreck, called hospitals and checked with jails. ““I blew up her phones. I even texted her, ‘You’d better be in jail.’ ”

Carmon has a history of alcohol-related offenses dating back to 2008, according to Colorado arrest records.