Malory Pierre, who was charged with child neglect after she and her sister allegedly left their kids locked in a car for 20 minutes while they went gambling inside the Mardi Gras Casino, was told Wednesday that she can keep her three children. Judge Cindy Lederman addressed Pierre in court, where Pierre denied gambling.
Four kids were locked in a car for 20 minutes and two mothers were charged with child neglect.
Surveillance video caught the incident in a parking lot at the Mardi Gras Casino. Hallandale Beach Police said the women were inside gambling.
Three days later, Malory Pierre, mother of three, was told she can keep her kids. The youngest one is just 2 years old.
"I'm not going to take the children away at this time. I can imagine you're thinking, 'What was I thinking right?'" Judge Cindy Lederman said.
"That's exactly what I'm thinking," Pierre responded.
Judge Lederman said that since Pierre is showing remorse and has no prior arrests, her kids will remain in her care.
"I'm glad that you're remorseful," the judge said. "Just don't let it happen again."
Around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, after responding to a 911 call, two boys and two girls were found in the back seat of a car.
According to the police report, one of the children said, "My stepmother and her sister went inside and left us here."
When the two sisters made their way out of the casino and back to their car after spending 20 minutes inside, police say Pierre said she just needed to use the bathroom and wasn't gambling, but investigators said her sister's players club account shows the two played slot machines inside.
Still, Pierre denied gambling in court.
"I don't gamble," Pierre said. "I like my money. I don't like to give nobody my money."