America’s worst mom: Eric Macke, of Iowa, has entered an Alford plea to four counts of child endangerment
A mother who left her four children, ages six to 12, at home alone with a gun while she went sightseeing in Germany has taken a plea deal in a bid to avoid jail time.
Erin Macke of Johnston, Iowa pleaded guilty to four counts of child endangerment – a firearms charged will be dropped at sentencing in exchange for her plea.
Macke, 31, entered an Alford plea at her hearing – in legal terms, this means that the accused person isn’t pleading guilty in a true sense, but admits that the prosecution has sufficient evidence for a conviction, according to the Des Moines Register.
She could face up to two years in prison on each charge.
Court records say Macke filed a written plea last November to four counts of child endangerment and one of transferring a firearm to a person under 21.
Police said the latter charge was filed because a firearm was left at home within the children’s reach.
Police have said Macke tried but failed to make child care arrangements for her kids – two 12-year-old twins, one child aged seven and another aged six – before leaving on September 20 for a vacation in Germany.
Police say the father of one of the children was called by his child the next day, and he called police. The children were alone for 24 hours before family members took them in, reported KCCI.
Macke’s four children are pictured above on the first day of school in August. Her 12-year-old twins are on the left, and her seven- and six-year-old daughters are on the right
The 31-year-old is accused of leaving her children alone in September to travel to Germany
Macke took a picture of bratwurst during her first day in Germany in September
Police in Johnston, Iowa conducted a welfare check on Macke’s house on September 21, 2017 after receiving a tip that her kids were without any adult supervision.
They found that not only had the children been left alone, but that they had been left alone with a gun out in the open.
According to the criminal complaint, Macke left an unloaded Glock 9MM handgun on top of her dresser, next to two magazines – one fully loaded and one partially loaded.
The children told police that their mom had left for Germany the day before, and didn’t plan to return until October 1.
When police called Macke abroad, she said that all of her babysitters fell through so she decided to leave the kids home alone.
‘Investigators confirmed that Macke had made no arrangements to provide adult supervision or care for the children while she was away,’ the police department said.
Camera shy: Macke (left and right) tried to hide her face from KCCI cameras following her arrest in late September
Bold statement: She was accompanied by a burly, bearded man sporting a T-shirt that read: ‘Snitches end up in ditches’
Police told Macke that was unacceptable and ordered her to return home immediately.
But she only cut her trip short by four days, returning to the US in September 27. She was arrested the next day.
Photos posted on Macke’s Instagram in late September showed her touring Bavaria with a female friend and a baby, eating bratwurst and sight-seeing.
Iowa Department of Human Services took custody of Macke’s children, and they have since been placed with extended family members. The two eldest children are with unspecified family members while the two younger children are with their father.
Public records indicate that Macke filed for divorce from her ex, Matthew, in 2013.
A judge ordered Macke not to contact her children at the time of her arrest – she’s now allowed to have supervised phone calls with them.
Macke – seen here in court, could face up to two years in prison to all the charges she used her Alford plea on
Macke is pictured here with her two youngest children
Macke is pictured above with her two oldest children, 12-year-old twins,
In May, Macke competed in a bikini competition, according to a post on her Instagram (left)
Another photo from the competition shows the 30-year-old mom-of-four on stage in a bikini
Macke, above, has pictures on her Instagram account showing her having fun in the sun