Mom Uses Craigslist to Get Son a Ride, but Gets Arrested Instead

By Brett Snider, Esq. on June 18, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A Georgia mom was arrested after using Craigslist to find her 9-year-old son a ride to his grandparents' house.

Sheila Sherrie Joyner, of Marietta, reached out to a stranger on the online classified site who was interested in sharing expenses while traveling to Florida. Joyner hoped the man could drop her child off in Macon, but the stranger instead called the police, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Mother Arrested in Undercover Operation

After the Craigslist poster, known only as "Eric" to Joyner, contacted the police, an undercover officer responded to Joyner and arranged to pick up her son. The Journal-Constitution reports that Joyner had a babysitter bring her child to a gas station; Joyner allegedly lied to the sitter and said that the stranger was "a friend of hers."

Shortly thereafter, Joyner was arrested at her apartment under a statute which covers contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Typically this would refer to aiding or inducing a minor to commit a crime like being a minor in possession, but Georgia's law is more expansive.

Contributing to the Deprivation of a Minor

According to Cobb County booking records, Joyner was arrested for contributing to the deprivation of a minor, a criminal offense which ranges from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on prior convictions and harm to the child. Joyner's booking log suggests that the charge will be a misdemeanor, but the description of the offense reads "Contributing to the Deprivation of a Minor Resulting in Serious Injury or Death - Third or Fourth Offense (Felony)."

By arranging for her child to be left with a complete stranger found on Craigslist, Joyner likely left her child without any legal custodian or guardian, causing the 9-year-old to become a deprived child.

Held on Other Charges

Before Joyner could bail herself out to receive her "mother of the year award," booking records indicate she was held in custody Tuesday for allegedly failing to appear for another pending criminal case. Remember, judges do issue bench warrants if you miss a court date, and the chances of you bailing out when you end up back in jail are slim.

Hopefully Joyner's son is in better care while his mother is in custody.

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