Mindy McCready Defies Judge's Orders to Return 5-Year-Old Son
Country singer Mindy McCready said Thursday she would not bring her 5-year-old son back from Tennessee to Florida, despite violating a custody arrangement and a judge's order.
McCready took the boy during a recent visit at her father's southwest Florida home, and a judge signed an order Thursday ordering authorities to take the boy into custody and return him. It's not yet clear whether she could face criminal charges.
"I'm doing all this to protect Zander, not stay out of trouble," McCready wrote in an e-mail to the Associated Press on Thursday. "I don't think I should be in trouble for protecting my son in the first place."
McCready said she is in Tennessee and it is looking less likely that she will bring her son back to Florida. She says she cannot travel because she's nearly seven months pregnant with twins. When tracked down by the AP, there was no answer at a Nashville address for McCready.
The judge's order means law enforcement anywhere can pick up Zander and bring him back to Florida.
McCready and her mother have had a long custody battle over the boy. Until recently, he was living with McCready's mother, who was awarded guardianship in 2007 after the two had a fight and McCready resisted arrest.
McCready says her son has suffered abuse at her mother's house; her mother, Gayle Inge, denies the abuse allegations.
"Once the child is located, we will pick him up and bring him back to Florida," said Terri Durdaller, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Children and Families. "Although these circumstances are unfortunate for a young child, his safety and well-being are our No. 1 priority."
Durdaller said any criminal charges would come at the discretion of law enforcement or the Lee County, Fla., State Attorney's office.
This is just the latest in a series of troubles for the singer, who first topped the charts in the mid-1990s. Since then, she has dealt with domestic abuse, drug and drunk-driving arrests and a suicide attempt. Three years ago, she was hospitalized after a cutting her wrists and taking several pills in what police deemed to be a suicide attempt.
McCready also appeared on VH1's Celebrity Rehab last year, claiming she suffered from love -- and not drug -- addiction. In one episode, she was seen being rushed to a hospital following a seizure, where scans showed she has brain damage.
The AP contributed to this report.