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Tennessee probing woman accused of driving kids in kennels

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee's child services department said Monday that it's investigating a woman accused of driving her two young grandchildren around in pet kennels.

Department spokesman Rob Johnson said investigators are reviewing the case of Leimome Cheeks, who is charged with two counts of child endangerment. Johnson said the children were not in the custody of the Department of Children's Services, but the staff is still "investigating the situation."

A Memphis police affidavit says the children, ages 7 and 8, told officers there wasn't room inside Cheeks' vehicle Saturday, so she told them to get inside the kennels.

The Commercial Appeal obtained video appearing to show Cheeks, 62, letting a girl out of one of the kennels and closing the metal grate behind her.

There weren't air conditioning vents in the back of the vehicle, and the children told police they were hot, the affidavit said. Temperatures reached about 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius).

Cheeks said she checked on the children periodically and later put them in the back seat as she drove from the Whitehaven neighborhood to the Memphis suburb of Collierville, and to the downtown area, the affidavit said.

Cheeks was released on bond Sunday. A phone listing for Cheeks rang unanswered Monday. Court records show an arraignment scheduled for Monday has been continued until July 9, when she will tell a judge if she has hired a lawyer of if the court will need to appoint one.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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