Charge upgraded against woman accused of trying to sell baby

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Elizabethtown mom will face felony charge

By Jeff D'Alessio

A charge against an Elizabethtown woman accused of twice attempting to sell her now 10-day-old daughter has been enhanced to a felony.

Leeanna Brown, 24, could face up to five years in prison on a charge of selling a child for adoption. Brown originally was charged early Wednesday morning with endangering the welfare of a minor. The initial charge was a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison.

The child was born Nov. 26.

According to state law, “A person, agency, institution, or intermediary shall not sell or purchase or procure for sale or purchase any child for the purpose of adoption or any other purpose, including termination of parental rights ...”

Any person suspected of violating any of Kentucky Revised Statutes’ 199.590 (2) provisions is subject to being charged with a Class D felony.

The charge was upgraded after a direct indictment Thursday morning from the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.

“This is what she should have been charged to begin with,” Commonwealth Attorney Shane Young said. “This is the right charge.”

Brown is set to appear Tuesday in Hardin Circuit Court. Her bond also has been elevated from $2,500 full cash to $15,000 full cash. She remains in the Hardin County Detention Center.

According to an arrest citation, Brown promised to sell her daughter to two different individuals.

Brown told a cousin she would hand over the newborn if the cousin paid Brown’s outstanding fines and court costs, according to the citation.

In July, Brown was charged with nonpayment of fines and first-degree possession of a controlled substance — a felony — by Elizabethtown Police Department.

The cousin also said Brown had an agreement with another person to sell the newborn for about $5,000 to cover court fines, fees and attorney fees, according to the citation. That agreement “fell through,” according to the citation.

The relative said she adopted the newborn Nov. 27. On Tuesday, Brown and her cousin went to EPD where Brown said she wanted her child back so she could give temporary guardianship to another person. The “adoption” was an agreement and not a court order, case documents say.

This other person, according to the citation, had temporary guardianship of two more of Brown’s children, who are 2 and 1. It also was discovered through the investigation a different couple had custody of Brown’s 1-year-old child and had been caring for the child for the last seven months.

According to the citation, Child Protective Services took emergency custody of all three children.

Brown is listed as “Leeanna Brown” on the arrest citation and “Leeann Brown” at the Hardin County Detention Center.

Jeff D’Alessio can be reached at 270-505-1757 or jdalessio@