Parenting classes and community service are part of a plea agreement for a Paoli woman formally charged last summer after her two young children were found in a dangerously hot parked vehicle.

Dacia Raean Griffin, 22, received a three-year deferred sentence after she pleaded no contest to the felony child neglect count filed last July.

The plea agreement called for Griffin to attend parenting classes within six months and complete 60 hours of community service.

The charge accused Griffin of placing her two children, then 1 and 2 years old, in danger by leaving them in a vehicle where the hot summer temperatures soared into the triple digit range.

The two youngsters were in a vehicle parked at the Garvin County Courthouse in Pauls Valley, which county authorities estimated to be about 120 degrees at the time.

Griffin first denied the accusation by stating a teenage relative had been left to watch over the children. She later admitted to making the story up and she was in fact the one who left them alone.

The children were found in the middle of the afternoon on July 28 by two people who first heard a baby crying in the parking lot on the east side of the courthouse building.

What they found were the two young children placed in a car seat inside the vehicle, which was locked with its front windows rolled down about 2 inches.

The discovery was quickly reported to the sheriff’s department as deputies responded to get the children out of the vehicle. They were taken to the sheriff’s office, where they received water and a place to cool down.

Minutes later Griffin went to the office to inquire about her children.

She first claimed she didn’t leave them alone as her teenage sister had remained to oversee them. Griffin later admitted that story was a lie.

She admitted to leaving the children in the vehicle because she expected to return in only a few minutes.

Griffin was then arrested as the children were placed in the custody of the state Department of Human Services.

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