FOREST PARK, Ohio -- A woman accused of endangering her daughter by forcing her to stay outside in the July heat has been found not guilty.
A jury spent less than a half-hour deliberating before acquitting Catrina Fant of the sole count of child endangering filed against her.
According to court documents, Forest Park police Sgt. David DeSalvo responded to a home in the 11000 block of Donora Lane on July 26. DeSalvo said Fant refused to let her 11-year-old daughter into the home even though it was 90 degrees outside.
Fant said that's because the girl was armed and aggressive: She claims her daughter tried to stab her with a knife. Fant said the child suffers from depression and anxiety, and she insisted she was innocent from the start.
"I mean, if you are put in situation where anybody is coming at you violently with a weapon, you are going to call the police," Fant said Thursday.
The charge, Fant said, felt like "death." Her four daughters are all separated in foster care homes, and she's missed one of their birthdays so far.
"My kids are my life," she said. "I give them every opportunity in this world because I want them to better themselves."
Fant said she's hoping she can have the girls home soon. Fant is scheduled to go back to court Dec. 10, at which point she'll find out if she can get her daughters back.
"I just want to bring them home for Christmas and have a happy ending," she said.