Ft. Laud. mother left 3 kids alone with no food

Woman accused of child neglect faces judge


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A woman accused of leaving her children alone for several hours with no food and no electricity went before a judge, and she wasn't happy with what he had to say.

Shantegra Godfrey, 23, who was arrested Thursday in Pompano Beach, made her first appearance before Broward County Judge John Hurley Friday morning.

According to court records, Godfrey's neighbors called 911 after they heard her children crying in her apartment. When officers arrived, they found three children, ages 1, 2, and 4 years old. All of them were in diapers and they were all alone.

Investigators say the apartment was very dirty and it didn't appear that the children had any food.

Four and a half hour later, according to court records, Godfrey returned to the apartment and was arrested.

In court Friday morning, Judge Hurley told her that if she posts bond, she is not allowed to have any contact with her children.

"I'm going to order you to have no contact with your children," Hurley said. "I don't like doing that, but I think that's necessary."

Godfrey, who was clearly not happy with the judge's decision, slammed her hand on the podium and walked away.

"Come on back, ma'am," the judge said.

Godfrey then uttered a series of expletives, arguing with the judge that she had to go to work.

The judge, however, told her she was not responsible enough to be with her children and ordered her to stay 500 feet from them.

Godfrey continued to argue, until she was seen walking away from the podium and through a back door of the courtroom before the judge was finished talking.

During the exchange, it sounded as if Godfrey told the judge she had left her children with someone.

Judge Hurley ruled that at some point she will be able to go before another judge and explain what happened.

But for the time being, she is charged with three counts of child neglect and is being held on $3,000 bond.

The children may be placed with relatives.