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Carrie Ann Billups’ neglect of her 4-year-old son (and cocaine supply) resulted in a five-year prison sentence for child abuse, Monday (July 30). The Chesapeake, Va. mother will actually spend roughly 12 months behind bars, because four years of her sentence was suspended.

Billups, 26, pleaded guilty to a single felony child abuse charge in April, and also received credit for five months of time served.

At her sentencing, Chesapeake Circuit Court Judge Marjorie Arrington blamed the incident on Billups’ careless mothering. “I don’t think a 4-year-old would know how to snort cocaine unless he’s seen it done somewhere,” Arrington scolded. “The court is concerned about what’s going to happen to this child when you are release if you continue to use cocaine.”

Deputy Public Defender A. Robinson Winn represented the mom, and was said to be content with the court ruling.

Police arrested Billups last November, days after her young son got his nose into a $10 cocaine stash hidden under a bedroom lamp. She woke up  the next morning and found the boy snorting the drug, but didn’t take him to the hospital for fear of legal trouble.

Bad idea.

The child eventually started vomiting, and was treated at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughter. A unrine test revealed the presence of the drug in his system. He was released the next day.

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