UPDATED TUESDAY, DEC. 13 — A Fayetteville woman, who is facing felony child cruelty charges after leaving her 2-year-old alone at home while working her night shift at a local restaurant, speaks out below.
Demetria J. Barner, 24, was charged with felony cruelty to children and driving with a suspended license, according to Fayette County Jail records. Barner said in a comment to this story, “I was literally five minutes from home [and] did not know my license was suspended.”
Barner on Dec. 9 was initially stopped by Fayetteville police at 2:17 a.m. for a suspended license violation, said Fayetteville Police Department spokesman Jeff Harris, adding that Barner said she had ended her 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. shift at a Waffle House.
Once at the Fayette County Jail, Barner was overheard on a phone call instructing someone to go to her house and pick-up her two-year-old child, Harris noted.
Asked about the whereabouts of her child, Barner said a caregiver was at the home with her child. Yet when police arrived for a welfare check, they found no one on the premises, Harris explained.
The child was secured by officers and turned over to family members.
Here is Barner’s full statement: “I am A single mother that just moved from Gwinnett to Fayetteville by myself. I been living in Fayetteville for four weeks now. Yes, I’m wrong for doing that but I don’t get no help from my child’s father and I wanted to make sure my daughter have a good Christmas. I love my daughter to death. This is my first charge and I’m going to fight for this. I’m never been locked up. I’m innocent. They treated me like s**t in that jail. Even the officer that pulled me over was being mean to me. I was literally five minutes from home. I did not know my license was suspended.”