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Judge rules no probable cause to charge Texas mother who ‘stuck her son, 13, in the car trunk’

Judge rules no probable cause to charge Texas mother accused of sticking her son, 13, in the trunk of her car to avoid being exposed to Covid on trip to drive-thru testing site

  • Sarah Beam, 41, of Harris County, was charged for child endangerment last week
  • Allegedly put her son, 13, in the trunk of the car for drive to the Covid test center 
  • She was taking him for a confirmatory test on January 3 after he tested positive
  • He was found by the site’s health services director who heard noises from trunk 
  • Judge said prosecutors can continue to investigate so she may still face charges 


A Texas judge ruled yesterday there was no probable cause to charge a mother accused of sticking her 13-year-old son in the trunk of her car to avoid being exposed to Covid-19 on their trip to a drive-thru testing site.  

Sarah Beam, a 41-year-old teacher from the Cypress-Fairbanks area near Houston, allegedly put the boy in the trunk before she drove to the testing site at Ken Pridgeon Stadium to get a confirmatory test when he returned a positive result on January 3.  

Cypress Fairbanks ISD Police Department (Cy-Fair ISD PD) issued a warrant for her arrest on Friday and later charged her with child endangerment. 

Texas Judge Chris Morton ruled yesterday that she had not put her son in ‘imminent danger of bodily harm’, her lawyer Nathaniel Pitoniak told KHOU outside court. 

But he said the state could to continue to investigate Beam, a school teacher in Cy-Fair Independent School District. 

Harris County Police Department said it respected Judge Morton’s ruling and would continue to review the evidence with the possibility of taking the case to a grand jury to find an appropriate charge to bring against Beam.   

A judge found no probable cause to charge Sarah Beam, 41, of Harris County, Texas, with child endangerment after her son, 13, was found in her trunk when she arrived at a drive-thru Covid-19 testing site at Ken Pridgeon stadium

Health Services Director Bevin Gordon heard noises in the back of the trunk when she arrived at the stadium (not pictured) and found the child laying in the trunk. Gordon ordered the child to be placed safely in the backseat before he would test them

Health Services Director Bevin Gordon heard noises in the back of the trunk when she arrived at the stadium (not pictured) and found the child laying in the trunk. Gordon ordered the child to be placed safely in the backseat before he would test them

Police said Beam pulled up to the giant tent set up on Falcon Road when Bevin Gordon, the health services director at the site, heard a noise inside her trunk on January 3. 

Beam told Gordon that her son had tested positive for the virus and had to be quarantined, according to the court affidavit. She told Gordon she placed in him the trunk to protect herself from the virus and wanted to get him an additional test. 

When she popped the trunk, Gordon found the boy laying down inside the vehicle and told Beam she could not receive a Covid-19 test until the boy was seated safely in the backseat. 

Surveillance footage obtained by Cy-Fair ISD PD reportedly showed the 13-year-old exiting the trunk and climbing into the back seat.  

The teen was not harmed during the incident, Cy-Fair ISD spokeswoman Leslie Francis said in a statement. Beam recently worked as a teacher in the district but is currently on administrative leave, Francis said.

Following the ruling yesterday, Harris County District Attorney spokesperson Dan Schiller said: ‘We will review all the evidence gathered by police and make a determination on how to proceed, including the possibility of presenting this case to a grand jury so that representatives of the people of Harris County can decide whether a criminal charge is appropriate,

‘We respect the judge’s ruling and we will continue with our work.’ 

Harris County currently has 100,000 Covid-19 cases with a seven-day average of 10,000. Texas has had almost a 400 percent increase in cases in the last two weeks. 

The county, which encompasses Houston, currently has 57 per cent of its citizens fully vaccinated. 

Police did not say whether the mom or her unidentified son were vaccinated. 

Texas cases have risen almost 400 per cent in the last two weeks

Texas cases have risen almost 400 per cent in the last two weeks 

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