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Crime & Courts

Spring Hill child found wandering street naked, drunk

Hernando Today Hernando Today staff report
Published:   |   Updated: March 7, 2013 at 04:18 PM

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 While Nedra Joann Byrd was sleeping on her living room couch, her 10-year-old son was seen walking naked on Bayside Court on Thursday evening, according to a sheriff's office report.

Neighborhood witnesses who alerted the sheriff's office put clothes on the child, and then went to Byrd's house to tell her. A witness said the front door was not fully closed, and Byrd, 31, was seen asleep on the couch.

When responding Deputy Christopher Owens entered the residence, James Shannon was sitting next to Byrd, and told the law enforcement officer the child "should be in his room," and that he had just checked in on the boy.

When Shannon saw the child was not in bed, he started to wake up Byrd – which took about two minutes. The arrest report said Byrd "woke up lethargic and appearing intoxicated," with the smell of alcohol on her breath.

"My son is not walking around naked, he's in his room," Byrd laughed when Deputy Owens asked if she knew her son was in the street without clothing.

When asked if she had been drinking, Byrd said "Yeah I'm drunk as hell" before falling back asleep.

The 10-year-old boy later said he had been drinking "Christian Brother's brandy" most of the day, and that he had drank alcohol before. The child was taken to Spring Hill Regional Hospital, and a blood draw found his blood alcohol level at .108.

After being taken into custody, Byrd only said her son "would never touch my bottle of brandy and hasn't tonight at all."

Byrd was arrested on charges of child neglect and booked in the Hernando County Jail on $5,000 bond.

Sheriff's office records do not indicate Byrd has been arrested in the recent past.

According to clerk records, Byrd received 6 months probation for possessing a medicinal drug without a prescription in 2009. During the same year, Byrd faced a battery charge, but was eligible for pretrial diversion – a program for first-time offenders of a third-degree felony or misdemeanor.

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