Grandmother who put kids in dog kennels is not a monster, lawyer says
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Memphis grandmother accused of putting her grandchildren in a dog kennel was back in court Monday.
Memphis Police Department charged 62-year-old Leimome Cheeks last month after a video was posted on Facebook showing Cheeks letting a young girl out of a dog kennel in the back of her SUV.
Police said Cheeks admitted to driving from Whitehaven to Collierville with her 7 and 8-year-old grandchildren locked inside two dog kennels.
The video shows one of the kids crawling out of a kennel in the back of Cheeks' van.
The children told investigators Cheeks had them get in the kennels because there wasn't any room in the SUV.
Cheeks is charged with two counts of child endangerment.
As with her first court appearance, Cheeks faced a myriad of media attention.
Like last time, the grandmother had nothing to say as she headed for the courtroom, but her new attorney Marty McAfee took time to defend her publicly.
"She is a grandmother," McAfee said. "She is a person that has always worked, and she did not mean to hurt these children."
According to the police report, Cheeks admitted to driving with the children in the kennel, from Whitehaven to Collierville to downtown, even as temperatures soared outside to 95 degrees.
Cheeks told police she checked on the children periodically and Cheeks' attorney said she's not the monster some members of the public think she is.
"I believe when the world meets Ms. Cheeks they're not going to find a monster," McAfee said.
McAfee said Cheeks has been in contact with her grandchildren and is not a fan of the media spotlight.
"Nobody would want to face all this media attention," McAfee said.
Monday's court appearance was brief, lasting just enough time for McAfee to formally let the judge know that he's representing Cheeks.
Cheeks will be back in court on Wednesday, July 25.
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