Army father found guilty in 'home alone' case

Army father found guilty in 'home alone' case

TACOMA, Wash. -- An Army soldier was found guilty on Friday of criminal mistreatment for leaving his young children alone in squalor while he went to work. The judge said the children could have easily died in that situation.

Quintin Dublin and his 3- and 4-year-old kids were living in this Lakewood apartment.  He had pulled them out of day care, but the prosecutor said Dublin hadn't arranged for anyone to watch them for the last several weeks.

Photos of the conditions released to KOMO News show the piles of garbage, spoiled food and dangerous cleaning chemicals left out in the open.

"There were numerous opportunities for death or great bodily harm with these children. There were numerous loose electrical cords all over the apartment," said Pierce County Superior Court Judge Vicki Hogan.

The photos show frozen food with no way for the kids to prepare them. There were chip containers placed out of their reach.

The situation came to light last November when the couple living in the apartment below noticed water gushing into their apartment.  

"So I went upstairs and knocked to see if I could get a response from anybody. I could hear the kids playing around and as soon as I knocked they got really quiet," said downstairs neighbor Giovanni Pegues.

It turns out the children had left the tap running in the bathroom and flooded everything. 

"But for the leaking sink these children might never have been discovered home alone," Hogan said.

The judge found Dublin guilty of criminal mistreatment, but not abandonment. Instead of getting to stay free until the sentencing April 24, the judge ordered Dublin to be jailed right away. He could receive 12-14 months in prison.

The children are now with their mother in Kansas.