Lubbock woman sentenced to 12 months in state jail for abandoning infant

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[image of Jezelle Monique Pena provided by the Lubbock County Jail]

LUBBOCK, Texas– A woman pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 months in state jail Thursday for abandoning her infant child before attempting to run from police in August 2019.

According to one witness walking in the 2600 block of East Bates Street, the woman, Jezzelle Monique Pena, 28, was walking alone and asked the witness for help, according to a Lubbock Police report.

The witness, according to police, walked with Pena back to her vehicle in the backyard of 2620 East Bates Street, where she left her infant child in the hot vehicle by himself.

Police said it was over 90 degrees that day.

Pena, along with the baby and the witness, went to a nearby home in the 2600 block of East Bates Street, police said. They stayed for approximately 20 minutes.

During that time, both witnesses said it looked like Pena “was on something.”

Police were later called to the home in the 2600 block of East Bates for a suspicious vehicle in the backyard, according to the report.

The officer said he got out of his patrol car and saw Pena’s vehicle in an unfenced backyard, but he could not locate contact information for the owner.

Once he walked back to his patrol car, he saw the taillights turn on and saw the vehicle drive eastbound down the alley.

The officer said he pulled out of the alley and waited at the end of the block to see Pena’s vehicle, police said.

According to police, when Pena got to the end of the alley, she saw the officer and reversed westbound down the alley at a high rate of speed.

This prompted the officer to chase Pena down the alley in his patrol car, but she eventually got out of her vehicle and ran westbound down the alley, police said.

The officer eventually caught up to Pena and was able to arrest her.

According to police, the officer said Pena appeared “very paranoid and excited.” When the officer asked Pena the last time she used narcotics, she said she “used methamphetamines” three days prior.

Pena said she was “told by God” to leave her infant son with someone else, police said. But the officer said Pena did not know the witness with whom the infant was left.

According to police, another officer arrived where the infant was and took custody of him until Child Protective Services arrived on the scene.

Pena was arrested and, at the time, was charged with evading arrest and endangering a child.

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