Casper Woman Charged with Five Counts of Child Endangerment
UPDATE: Heather Richie appeared in Natrona County District Court on Tuesday, June 13th before Judge Kerri Johnson.
Richie was sentenced to three- to- five years in prison with credit for 146 days served; the sentence is suspended in lieu of three years supervised probation.
A Casper woman heard six counts from Natrona County Circuit Court Judge Brian Christiansen on September 8th during initial appearances.
Heather Ritchie, 31, was charged with five felony counts of child endangerment for methamphetamine possession while supervising, and a misdemeanor possession of the controlled substance.
According to court records, on September 7th at 9:45 p.m. Officer Lougee was dispatched to the alley behind South Jefferson Street in Natrona County.
Ritchie's vehicle was reportedly parked in the alley and had been running for about an hour and a half with unattended children inside.
Court documents said that when Officer Lougee arrived there was a female in the driver's seat who identified herself as Ritchie and five children were in the back of the vehicle.
"As Officer Lougee approached the vehicle, Ritchie said something to the effect of 'I have glass coming out of me' then told Officer Lougee that she was sorry because there was a firearm in the vehicle and she is a prohibited possessor of firearms" said the affidavit.
Three of the children were alleged to have been someone else's; Ritchie said she was babysitting while the parents were at work, which the couple confirmed.
During the investigation, Officer Lougee requested to search the vehicle, and Ritchie consented. Officer Lougee found a folded-up orange bandana in her purse and felt what appeared to be two pipes.
Both glass pipes contained a white residue that later tested positive for methamphetamine.
According to the affidavit, "Ritchie stated that the last time she had used meth was the current morning and Ritchie admitted her children were in her care and custody when she used meth. Ritchie also stated she was sorry for possessing (meth)."
The children belonging to Ritchie were taken into protective custody, and the other children were allowed to go home with their parents with a follow up appointment scheduled for the next day with DFS.
"While at Natrona County District Court, Ritchie thanked Officer Lougee for 'saving her children's lives.'"
In 2018, K2Radio News reported that she was arrested for leaving a baby in a hot SUV.
An officer used a website to obtain an approximate internal temperature for the vehicle and found it would have been 114 degrees Fahrenheit when the child was inside the Tahoe.