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Mom no longer charged after child found wandering alone on Broad Street

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Michelle Knighten

RICHMOND, Va. — Charges against a Richmond mother whose four-year-old son was found wandering alone on Broad Street in downtown Richmond several times last summer have been set aside. The felony child neglect charge filed against Michelle Knighten, 39, was nolle prossed. Prosecutors could bring them back up at any time. No reason for the legal move was provided by the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

Following Knighten’s June arrest, Richmond Police Detective Steve Kendell said the first time an officer found Knighten’s child police chalked it up to Knighten being a distracted mother. The second time, Kendell said, they thought Knighten had a medical condition, and again, did not press charges.

“Some people might say after the second time there should have been this charge placed,” CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit said to Kendell.

“After talking to the mother we thought she was medically ill,” Kendell replied.

Knighten was arrested and charged after the third time the child was spotted on the street.

Following her arrest, someone who answered the door at her apartment said the child was okay and being cared for.