Trial ordered for mom accused of leaving baby in car

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gavelCHULA VISTA, Calif. — A San Diego woman accused of leaving her 4-month-old daughter in a hot car while shopping in a National City clothing store in July must stand trial on a child endangerment charge, a judge ruled today.

Starley Cristal Geart — who remains free on $100,000 bail — faces 12 years in state prison if convicted.

After a morning preliminary hearing today at the South Bay Courthouse, Judge Edward Allard III found that enough evidence was presented for the 25- year-old Geart to stand trial on the felony charge and an allegation of great bodily injury.

Arraignment was scheduled April 4 in Superior Court.

A maintenance worker and a customer of the clothing store on East Plaza Boulevard reported seeing an infant strapped in a child seat in the back of a parked sedan with its windows rolled up and doors locked shortly after 3 p.m. July 24, according to Sgt. Julian Villagomez.

Police and paramedics were called and found the baby unresponsive and “sweating profusely” inside the vehicle and forced entry to get her out, Villagomez said.

Paramedics were able to revive the infant, who apparently had been locked in the vehicle for about 10 minutes. She was taken to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, where she was treated, evaluated and released into protective custody.

The temperature in the car was estimated to be 140 degrees, Deputy District Attorney Harrison Kennedy said.

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