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Routine traffic stop leads to child neglect and drug charges

Photo (L-R): Mary Watson, Brittni Phillips, Christopher Hamrick Source: Santa Rosa County Jail

A routine traffic stop Tuesday in Santa Rosa County led to three adults being arrested for child neglect.

According to a Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office (SRCSO) arrest report, an SRCSO deputy conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of Forsyth St. and old Bagdad Hwy. in Milton on February 6th due to the driver not wearing her seatbelt.

The report states that as the deputy walked up to the vehicle the driver, 31-year-old Brittni Phillips of Jay, opened the driver's side door and the deputy observed multiple burnt marijuana cigarettes in plain view.

Details from the report state that the deputy then asked the two adult passengers, Mary Elizabeth Watson, 52, of Bay Minette, Ala. and Christopher Hamrick, 23, of Milton to exit the vehicle.

According to the SRCSO report, the deputy was able to determine that the suspected burnt marijuana cigarettes were burnt spice cigarettes, and observed that they were scattered over the backseat near a third passenger, who was a minor child.

The report states that the child was dirty, did not have shoes and that the child's clothes were full of holes.

The deputy also found 28 grams of spice, multiple spice roaches, a red metal tube that contained approximately .1 grams of a white powdery substance, a multicolored zipper pouch containing multiple spice roaches, and a green metal smoking device in Watson's purse.

Hamrick, Phillips, and Watson were all arrested and transported to the Santa Rosa County Jail.

All three were charged with felony child neglect. Watson was also charged with felony possession of a controlled substance without a prescription (methamphetamine), and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Watson was given a total bond of $16,000.

Hamrick and Phillips were each given a total bond of $7,500.

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