Somerset woman serving five years after leaving kids at Columbia Walmart

Amanda C. Jardinez

A year after being indicted in Adair County for leaving six children inside the Columbia Walmart, a Somerset woman is serving her sentence in neighboring Wayne County.

Amanda C. Jardinez, 34, was indicted by an Adair County grand jury last October 15 on six counts each of abandonment a minor and first-degree wanton endangerment in connection to the August 2019 incident.

Columbia Police reported at the time that Jardinez entered Walmart with six juveniles, two of which were her children. She told the children to locate a store employee and then started to leave the premises, according to a police report. Three of the children attempted to follow Jardinez out of the store, police said, but she made them go back inside and then left with the man they had been traveling with as well as his 5-year-old daughter.

Major Jeff Hancock of the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office reported that Jardinez was arrested the following day after authorities received a tip as to where she was locally.

Initially scheduled to stand trial on July 21, Jardinez ultimately pleaded guilty to each count with Adair Circuit Judge Judy Vance-Murphy sentencing her in April to five years for each count to be served concurrently for a total of five years.

Back in June, Judge Vance-Murphy denied Jardinez's bid to be released early on shock probation. She is currently lodged at the Wayne County Detention Center. According to the Kentucky Department of Corrections, Jardinez should become eligible for parole in February 2022.

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