A Harris County judge on Thursday declined to find probable cause in a child endangerment case involving a teacher who placed her COVID-19-positive son in the trunk, according to media reports.
Harris County’s 230th District Court Judge Chris Morton deemed that Sarah Beam’s 13-year-old son was not in imminent danger when he was taken to a testing site via the trunk of the vehicle.
The case was not dismissed, though, and it is unclear if the Harris County District Attorney’s Office will refer the case to a grand jury, KPRC, KSAT’s sister station in Houston, reported.
Beam, a teacher with Cypress Falls High School in Cy-Fair ISD, has since been placed on administrative leave.
Court documents state that Beam, 41, pulled into a Cy-Fair ISD drive-thru testing site on Jan. 3 with her child in the trunk of her car.
A witness heard a noise coming from her trunk, and when Beam opened it, her 13-year-old son was found inside.
She told the witness she isolated her son because he had COVID-19, and she wanted to protect herself from exposure while taking him for additional testing, KPRC reported.
She eventually placed her son in the backseat when witnesses told her to do so.
KPRC reported that she was arrested Saturday and charged with child endangerment. She was released from jail after posting a $1,500 bail.
Since then, the community has placed signs of support on her home.
Some of the signs said, “we appreciate you,” “...a teacher with a heart of gold” and “never judge a book by its cover.”
The District Attorney’s Office told the Houston Chronicle they will continue to review the case.