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Two accused of leaving children unattended outside in cold temperatures

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Two people were charged by Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies after they allegedly left a pair of young children in the cold unattended at Northland Estates, Watertown.

Deputies said Nichole M. Johnson, 31, and Timothy R. Phillips, 34, both of 17841 Route 11, Lot 2N, left a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old unattended at the residence about 6:45 a.m. Thursday, at which point the children wandered outside.

Finding them on Northland Road wearing their pajamas and no shoes in 36-degree Fahrenheit temperatures, a passerby stopped and knocked on the door at the residence, and found it was locked. The passerby flagged down a person known to be a nurse, who in turn contacted the sheriff’s department.

Mr. Phillips returned to the scene as patrols responded, and the children were taken to Samaritan Medical Center to be treated for exposure. At that point, Child Protective Services also was called.

The two were charged by 1 p.m. Thursday with acting in a manner injurious to a child under 17 years old.

Mr. Phillips, arraigned in Watertown Town Court, was released on his own recognizance, while Ms. Johnson received an appearance ticket for the court.

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