Prosecutors on Wednesday afternoon charged two Mills women with a total of eight felonies, accusing them of physically abusing children and providing them with marijuana.
The Natrona County District Attorney’s Office announced its charging decisions for Alexandra Reardon, 22, and Lisa Canady, 26, both of Mills, in a brief circuit court hearing. Assistant District Attorney Michael Blonigen did not describe the allegations in any greater detail than formal language provided in the criminal accusations.
Each of the women faces two counts of felony child abuse, two counts of felony conspiracy to deliver marijuana to a minor and two misdemeanor counts of child endangerment. Reardon also faces a misdemeanor drug possession charge.
However, Mills police released detailed allegations Tuesday that appear to be consistent with the charges in the case.
In a Tuesday evening social media post, Mills police said the agency had arrested two people suspected of child abuse and endangerment as well as marijuana possession. The agency said that the investigation began Monday, when a local elementary school student — with substantial bruising on their arms and shoulders — reported that they and their younger sibling had been duct taped and bound.
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Officers corroborated the child’s report, according to the agency’s Facebook post. Police found the children’s mouths were duct taped for “refusing to take a nap,” and they were made to use marijuana to “calm them down,” according to the agency.
The social media post did not identify the people involved by name. The agency did state that the people suspected of abusing the children were not school employees. The children were taken into protective custody.
Reardon and Canady both appeared in court wearing jail uniforms and handcuffs. They spoke before the audience numbering 10 only to answer procedural questions. When Blonigen requested Canady be held on a five-figure bail requirement, she opened her mouth to speak, then sighed and refrained from responding.
Judge Brian Christensen set the requirement at the requested $10,000 for each of the two women.
The two women did not enter pleas during the afternoon hearing. They will have an opportunity to do so when the cases migrate to district court later this year.
Court documents filed by prosecutors on Wednesday afternoon make more clear the extent and nature of the allegations against the women. According to the documents, an elementary school girl told a police officer at her school that the two women had held her down and duct taped her because she would not take a nap. The girl said that the women would force her and her younger sister to smoke marijuana in order to get them to go to sleep, the documents state.
Law enforcement searched the house and found marijuana inside Reardon’s purse, according to the documents. During the search, the younger of the two children — who the documents indicate is no more than 5 years old — showed police where to find a marijuana canister in the house. She said, according to the documents, that the women would direct her to use the drug in order to take naps.