By Jamie Leary
ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - A mother was back in court on Wednesday, charged with child abuse after allegedly leaving her young son in a car overnight during freezing temperatures.
Nicole Carmon, 26, the mother accused of leaving her 2-year-old son in a car for 14 hours over the weekend, has now been formally charged.
While the toddler is reportedly out of the hospital and doing much better, his mother has a long road in front of her.
Carmon has been charged with a Class 3 felony for child abuse resulting in serious bodily injuries. The charge carries a wide-range of possibilities for sentencing. She is looking at anywhere from 10 to 32 years behind bars.
Those who know Carmon say she has struggled with alcohol abuse in the past. She was arrested in October for driving under the influence. According to court documents, she was pulled over driving on the rim of her tire and could barely stand up when an officer asked her to get out of the car.
"She hadn't had a drink since that October DUI. She was getting help," said Karla Begano, a licensed child care provider who looked after the 2-year-old and his older sister.
Begano has been a professional child care provider for 16 years. For more than a year, Carmon would drop her son and daughter off with Begano several times a week.
"She is an immaculate mother when she is sober." said Begano. "She loves them. I don't understand what happened."
Court documents state that Carmon told police she had six shots of vodka and couldn't recall where her car was. Begano says she was at a friend's house that night. Begano says she is furious whoever allowed her to leave drunk with her 2-year-old.
The car, a Ford Fusion, was found in a parking lot in Thornton and officers said the vehicle was heavily covered with snow that they couldn't see inside. When they brushed off the windows they saw the 2-year-old sitting in the car.
The toddler was rushed to the hospital where he was treated for hypothermia and frost bite. Carmon was arrested shortly after.
The toddler's father, now separated from Carmon, says when he saw his son in the hospital. Doctors initially thought they might have to amputate his leg but things are looking much better health-wise for the 2-year-old.
On Wednesday, CBS4 spoke with a relative currently in custody of the 2-year-old. While she was unable to speak with media in detail, she said she wants people to know he is happy and in good hands.
Begano says she hopes Carmon can find help for her addiction and someday be reunited with her family.
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