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A Mandan woman will spend two years on probation on state charges for allowing children in her care to be unsupervised in a dirty house where they had possible access to guns, ammunition and knives.

Jail documents indicate Hope Althoff, 26, might also face federal drug charges.

Althoff on Monday pleaded guilty in state court to three felony counts of child neglect and one charge of misdemeanor animal neglect. She told South Central District Judge Douglas Bahr that even though she was sick from drug use the day police came to her home, she still had made calls and sent texts to friends and relatives in an attempt to get someone to watch the children. The children had been fed, she said, but there were “things she probably couldn’t do the best.”

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“I was out of it the whole day,” Althoff said, adding she hadn’t been asleep long when police arrived. They were called to the home in late June by neighbors who saw children who were playing unsupervised outside the home, wearing dirty clothes and in need of bathing, a police affidavit said. A dog, a cat and an iguana were found in cages and in poor condition, police said.

Bahr gave Althoff credit for 17 days served in jail. She is being held for federal authorities at the Burleigh Morton Detention Center for conspiracy to distribute and possess methamphetamine, according to the center’s website. No federal court documents show formal charges against her. Bahr's sentence included the stipulation that Althoff complete substance abuse evaluation and treatment.

A co-defendant in the case, Colby Ereth, 33, is scheduled for a change-of-plea hearing on Tuesday. He pleaded not guilty on Aug. 5 to three counts of felony child neglect, one count of misdemeanor animal neglect and four felony drug charges.

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Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or Travis.Svihovec@bismarcktribune.com

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