Timblin Woman Charged With Child Endangerment Waives Hearing

TIMBLIN BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – A Timblin woman waived her hearing on Thursday on charges stemming from an incident in which police found a young girl home alone in a house with the floors covered in animal feces and urine.

According to court documents, the following charges against 26-year-old Jenna Lynn Shaffer were waived for court on Thursday, June 11:

– Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense, Misdemeanor 1
– Possession of Controlled Substance, Misdemeanor
– Use/Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor

The charges have been transferred to the Jefferson County Court of Common Pleas.

Shaffer remains free on $5,000.00 unsecured bail.

The charges stem from a call placed to the Punxsutawney-based State Police by a young girl in late February.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, around 10:27 a.m. on February 28, a known female juvenile called the Punxsutawney-based State Police to report she was home alone. The girl stated Jenna Shaffer had yelled at her before leaving the home, and reported she had no way of reaching Shaffer. She also allegedly told police that Shaffer had a security camera in the home and said that if police came to the home, Shaffer would be “mad at her even more.”

Trooper Burkett responded to the scene while another trooper remained on the phone with the girl to ensure her well-being.

The complaint states that upon entering the home, Trooper Burkett immediately noted an “overpowering odor of animal feces and urine” in the residence. He also observed “feces covering the floor of the residence and wet spots about the wooden floor, which appeared to be animal urine.”

According to the complaint, there were eight dogs and three cats inside the residence. There was also dust observed piled in corners of the downstairs rooms and spiderwebs in the corners of the ceiling with dust covering them.

The complaint notes no one other than the girl was present in the residence.

Trooper Burkett then spoke to the girl in the residence.

According to the complaint, the child reported Shaffer was mad at her because “the dogs had gotten into a fight.”

Shaffer then called the girl while Trooper Burkett was at the residence. He then retrieved the phone and instructed Shaffer to return home immediately.

While speaking with Trooper Burkett, the girl began sweeping the house to pick up the animal feces, but Trooper Burkett noted the feces was pushed down into the wooden floor and appeared dry, as if it had been on the floor for several days, the complaint notes.

According to the complaint, the girl explained that while she was waiting for Trooper Burkett to arrive, two of the dogs got into a fight that she had to break up. The dogs involved in the fight were a 90-pound dog and a 40-pound dog, and the girl said she weighed approximately 90 pounds.

Jefferson County Children and Youth Services (CYS) was then also called to the scene.

Around 11:30 a.m., Trooper Burkett spoke to Shaffer at the scene. Shaffer stated she had left at approximately 9:55 a.m. and said it was the first time she left the girl home alone, according to the complaint.

The complaint notes she did not leave a phone number or a phone list for the girl to contact an adult in the case of an emergency.

When asked about the animal feces in the house, Shaffer allegedly said she had been meaning to clean it up, but works a lot and hadn’t had the chance.

The complaint states that Trooper Burkett then informed Shaffer that CYS would be coming to perform a home evaluation and asked if she used any illegal substances. Shaffer initially said that she did not, but when asked if there were any controlled substances in the house, she said, “I’m not going to lie, sir. I have marijuana in my bedroom,” and agreed to retrieve it.

Trooper Burkett followed Shaffer to her bedroom and observed more animal feces covering the floor and stairs, as well as a blue marijuana grinder containing approximately one gram of suspected raw marijuana and a multi-colored glass pipe with residue, both of which were then seized, according to the complaint.

When asked if she believed the girl could take care of herself while being left home alone, Shaffer said “no,” and admitted the girl shouldn’t have been left home by herself, the complaint indicates.

The charges were filed through Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock’s office on Wednesday, May 6.

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