Attorneys may be close to negotiating a resolution in the case of a Christian County woman accused of six felonies in a June event that led to an endangered persons advisory and a search through three different counties.
Jammie J. White’s two biological daughters were found June 25, in Douglas County hiding in some woods with some snack food and a rubber raft. White, 39, who lives in Oldfield in eastern Christian County, is charged with six class D felony counts of endangering the welfare of a child and two class C misdemeanor counts of violating the state education requirement for a child.
White was brought from the Christian County Jail to appear in an associate circuit court hearing in Ozark on Sept. 3. Her case was bound over to circuit court, and defense attorney Steven Kellogg asked that the case be set over for a plea hearing on Sept. 12.
It’s unclear how the children, ages 16 and 14 at the time, ended up going from a foster home in Hollister to a wooded area in western Douglas County, a distance somewhere between 40 and 50 miles. White allegedly told sheriff’s deputies that she happened upon her daughters walking along State Route T.
With an endangered person advisory from the Missouri State Highway Patrol out for the girls, ages 16 and 14, Douglas County deputies reportedly took White into the woods to find the kids on June 25. They drove into a wooded area for about 20 minutes. White allegedly yelled for the children to come out. Deputies found that the girls were hiding in the woods with a small amount of food and a rubber raft.
“The deputies would testify that there was no water, there was no cell phone, that the only things found with the girls was some snacks and a raft. At that point, the girls were taken into custody,” Christian County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Shana Mora said at a hearing July 2.
The prosecuting attorney said that White left the girls in the woods and went to her boyfriend’s house in Goodhope, an unincorporated area in Douglas County about a half hour’s drive from where the children were hiding.
White remains in the Christian County Jail, where Bacon ruled that she be held without bond.
“There is no guarantee that the court can put in place that is going to keep these children safe,” Bacon said at the time he denied White bond.
Hours prior to White’s arrest, the Christian County Prosecuting Attorney's Office filed eight criminal charges against White.
“Two of those felony (endangering the welfare of a child) offenses are for a dirty camper that the children were living in in April,” Mora said.
White was questioned on April 30 by Christian County deputies in relation to reports that she allowed a babysitter suspected of sexual assault to watch her kids. That questioning led to two of her endangering the welfare of a child charges. Two more endangering the welfare of a child charges are the result of “the defendant abandoning her children for over 32 hours.”
Mora said that the misdemeanor charges are because White allegedly did not make her children attend school from January 2019 to April 2019, while they were in her custody.
White is currently on probation for a 2017 conviction of possession of a controlled substance.
Missouri law specifies five different ways that a person may commit the crime of endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree. To be convicted, a person must be proven to have, “act(ed) in a manner that creates a substantial risk to the life, body or health of a child less than 17 years old.” The law also specifies some provisions for sex-related and drug-related offenses, which will not be applied in the White case.
Christian County prosecutors are seeking class D felony convictions on all six of White’s endangering the welfare of a child charges. Missouri law states that a class D felony is punishable by up to four years in prison or one year in county jail. A person convicted of a class D felony may also be fined up to $10,000.
On June 25, the day that the Missouri State Highway Patrol issued an endangered persons advisory for the two girls, Douglas County sheriff’s deputies shared a photo of White along with a surveillance photo that appears to be taken from a gas station called the Feed Bag. The image shows a woman standing next to a gold Chrysler Pacific minivan, matching the description of the vehicle described in the missing person’s advisory. Douglas County deputies shared the images on social media sites at approximately 3 p.m., and included some information about White being spotted in western Douglas County.
White was taken into custody later that evening.