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Not guilty plea in car death

LONDON — A woman charged with causing the death of her grandson by leaving him inside a hot vehicle has pleaded not guilty.

Linda K. Long, 46, of Corbin, is charged with reckless homicide in the death of Madison Nose, who was 2. The boy died Oct. 10; he spent more than eight hours in a Suzuki SUV.

An attorney representing Long entered the plea for her during a short hearing Friday. Laurel District Judge John P. Chappell scheduled a preliminary hearing for Long on Oct. 21.

Long, who has been released on bond, quickly left the courthouse without commenting.

Long was supposed to drop off her grandson at day care but police think she forgot.

Lt. Stewart Walker, a London police officer, said Long told police it wasn't part of her routine to take the boy to day care. And Walker said he understood the boy was asleep in the vehicle.

Long went to work at Saint Joseph-London, where she is a nurse, and parked her SUV in a lot near the hospital about 8 a.m. She found her grandson in the vehicle when she returned at 4:45 p.m., Walker said.

He was dead when police and emergency workers arrived. The cause of death was hyperthermia, or overheating, Laurel County Coroner Doug Bowling has said.

The temperature in London reached the low 80s that day, Walker said. When the air temperature is 80 degrees, the temperature inside a vehicle can quickly shoot to more than 120 degrees, according to a Web site maintained by a California meteorology professor who tracks deaths of children in hot vehicles.

A core body temperature of 107 degrees is lethal, according to information on the Web site, ggweather.com.

Dozens of children die in hot cars every year — a total of more than 400 nationally since 1998 — most because caregivers forgot to take them out of vehicles, according to the Web site.

There were two similar deaths elsewhere in the United States the same day Madison died, according to ggweather.com.

The charge against Long, reckless homicide, does not carry an element of intent. In other words, it's a charge that someone caused the death of another person, but didn't intend to. The charge is a Class D felony punishable by one to five years in prison.

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