Detroit mother pleads no contest to charges related to her leaving a baby during a housefire

Fire took place in April 2021

DETROIT – On Tuesday, a Detroit mother pleaded no contest to charges claiming she didn’t tell firefighters her 18-month-old adopted daughter was inside her burning home.

The fire happened in April of 2021 on Detroit’s east side; firefighters said they went into the house on a mission to find the woman’s dogs and, by surprise, found a child inside.

“I could not believe it,” said Lavon Williams from the Detroit Fire Department.

The baby’s guardian, Chantel Alexander, was out of the burning home, telling fighters to rescue her dogs, never telling them her baby was in the house. According to a previous report, there were twenty dogs in the home.

The 18-month-old was found inside the house in her crib, covered in blankets. The young child was originally under Alexander’s cousin’s custody but was adopted by Alexander in April 2020. After the house fire, Alexander was removed as a guardian of the child.

Alexander was initially charged with child abuse, which is a 10 year felony.

On Tuesday, she got a plea deal which resulted in a punishment of three years probation. During the court session on Jan. 3, Alexander pleaded no contest to second-degree child abuse, alcohol treatment, and no contact with the victim and has to comply with any orders from Family Court and Child Protective Services.

Alexander will be sentenced on Feb. 13, 2023.

Previous coverage: Baby found, rescued from Detroit fire after mother says house is empty

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.