UPDATE: Wexford Mom Sentenced To Jail Time, Probation - Northern Michigan's News Leader

UPDATE: Wexford Mom Sentenced To Jail Time, Probation

Posted: Updated:

UPDATE: October 9

Pennie Cates was sentenced today in Wexford County Court.

Cates will spend a total of 90 days in jail. She has already spent 72 days. 

She is also sentenced to 24 months of probation along with fines and other costs. 

--------------------------------------------------------

September 17

Pennie Cates pleaded no contest to two counts of leaving a child in a vehicle resulting in physical harm.

No contest means she does not admit to the crime, but accepts the punishment.

Cates also pleaded to two counts of fourth degree child abuse. 

Four counts of second degree child abuse were dropped. 

Cates is accused of leaving her four children alone, without food, water or care for hours while she worked.

----------------------------------------------------------

August 7

It's a case police call shocking.

Pennie Cates of Cadillac is accused of leaving her 4 children alone, without food, water or care for hours while she worked.

Police say they found the 4 children in horrible conditions and couldn't believe any mother would do this.

Cadillac Police found the kids in the McDonald's parking lot in Cadillac West but say the mom, Pennie Cates works at the Subway next door. And this isn't the first time this mother has done something like this.

Detective Todd Golnick from the Cadillac Police Department says, "They report to us that this has happened on other occasions and they also indicated that they had  no food, no water, no toys and no access to any facilities and as a result all the children had soiled themselves."

When we questioned Detective Golnick today, he unveiled the reason the mother gave for not just leaving the kids at home. Det. Golnick says, "The mother reported to us and we were able to confirm that the father of the children lives with her, however due to the fact that he was just recently released from prison, he is not allowed to be alone with those children."

Cates faces 10 years in prison if convicted of the 4 counts of child abuse.

9&10's Katie Boomgaard and photojournalist Martillo Palmer spent the day searching for more details on the case.