Greencastle couple arrested for giving bourbon to toddlers
A Greencastle couple was arrested Thursday after allegedly providing alcohol to their two children, ages 18 months and three years, in an incident that was videotaped earlier this year at their East Side home.
Ashley D. Wilkins, 22, and Jeffrey L. Wilkins, 42, of 1044 Avenue E, Greencastle, were lodged in the Putnam County Jail Thursday on identical charges of neglect of a dependent, a Level 6 felony, and furnishing alcohol to a minor, a Class B misdemeanor.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case, Greencastle Police Det. Michael Collins obtained a videotape from the Department of Child Services (DCS) reportedly showing Ashley Wilkins allowing her two children, each clad only in a diaper, to drink alcohol that she pours from an apparent shotglass into their mouths as they approach her for a drink.
The affidavit indicates the incident occurred sometime between Jan. 1 and Feb. 8 at the Wilkins residence.
How the videotape came into the possession of authorities was not immediately known. Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter indicated he had yet to obtain a clear-cut answer to that question.
On the video, Ashley Wilkins is heard to tell whoever is behind the camera, "Don't record it."
"I can record it, then delete it," the response comes.
"I don't know," Wilkins can be heard saying as she then turns her attention back to the two children.
The 18-month-old girl accepts the bourbon and disappears off-camera before the three-year-old boy drinks what is offered to him, recoils at the taste and appears to spit out the liquid.
"He don't like bourbon," an off-camera male voice announces.
The 18-month-old girl then approaches her mother again.
"She's trying to get more," is overheard as Ashley Wilkins laughs and says in sing-song fashion, "Alcohol kids ..."
Under questioning by Det. Collins, Ashley Wilkins initially said she has never intentionally given her children alcohol but that they occasionally would take sips of drinks adults were consuming.
Advised that there was a video to the contrary, she then told Collins she had given the kids alcohol "about three times."
When Collins questioned Jeffrey Wilkins, he advised that he had given the children sips of alcohol two or three times so they would not like the taste and not want to consume it.
Both Ashley and Jeffrey admitted they knew it was wrong to give children any kind of alcohol, the probable cause affidavit notes.
The Wilkinses face six months to 2-1/2 years in the Department of Correction if convicted of the neglect of a dependent charge and up to 180 days in jail on the furnishing alcohol to a minor charge.