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Mom accused of leaving children in car remains jailed

HENRICO COUNTY, Va (WTVR) – Less than a week after one judge denied Brittney Downing bond, a second judge issued the same ruling.

“The court was simply following the law,” Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor said following Wednesday morning’s bond hearing.

Downing is accused of leaving her two children, aged 20-months and 2-months, strapped inside their car seats outside a Henrico hotel last month..  The children died soon after.

Downing worked at least seven hours inside the hotel and only checked on her children once during her shift, Taylor said. Taylor said what happened to Downing’s children was “no accident” and is the reason why she must now face two counts of felony child neglect.

“The loss of life is always devastating,” Taylor said.  “I think we always think it’s a little bit more sad when children are involved.”

During the hearing Downing’s attorney asked the judge to grant bond.

Lisa Lambert compared Downing’s case to that of Richmond mother ShaVaughn Robinson – who was initially granted bond after police found her newborn inside a dumpster.  Lambert argued if Robinson could be released, Downing should also be allowed to go home.

Both the judge and prosecutors disagreed.

“The court also held the same opinion as I did,” Taylor said.  “And that is the two matters are completely different and so it was not considered.”

The judged denied bond citing the seriousness of the crime and additional charges pending against Downing.

Downing can again appeal the court’s decision.  Her preliminary hearing is set for July 22.

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