DES MOINES, Iowa -- A Johnston mother who left her four children home alone while she vacationed in Europe entered an Alford plea of guilty on Monday, accepting there was enough evidence to convict her of four counts of child endangerment.
Erin Macke now faces a maximum of eight years in prison and more than $20,000 in fines.
Channel 13 spoke with Matt Macke, who is the father of the Erin Macke’s two youngest children. He said this was not the first time Erin left those children unattended.
"She meant to do that, rolled the dice, took the risk, got caught," Matt Macke said.
In less than 30 minutes, Erin Macke's attorney entered the guilty plea. Back in September 2017, Macke left a seven-year-old, six-year-old, and two 12-year-olds home alone while she went on vacation in Europe. Court documents show an unloaded gun was also inside the apartment at that time.
"How many times do you hear on national news of kids shooting a sibling or friend around the country because the parents aren't home and kids want to mess with dad’s gun or mom's or whatever," Matt said.
Macke was also charged with transferring a pistol or revolver to a person under the age of 21, but prosecutors dropped this charge as part of the plea agreement.
“She left them alone for six days to get themselves ready for school, feed themselves, to bathe themselves, knowing that they couldn’t call her directly because she was so far overseas. How do you do that? Just the nature of the crime shows intention, it was deliberate," Matt said.
Matt said although this wasn't the first time Erin left the children alone or in harm's way, he is glad she is now acknowledging her mistake.
Erin Macke’s sentencing is scheduled for April 19th.