COFFEE COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The parents of five children who are in state custody after a traffic stop and misdemeanor charge appeared in court Monday morning.
Bianca Clayborne and Deonte Williams were driving from Georgia to Chicago when they were pulled over in Coffee County for having dark-tinted windows and driving in the left lane without passing.
Arrest documents stated a trooper found marijuana in the vehicle and the parents admitted to smoking it. Their children, ranging from four months to seven years old, were taken away and placed in DCS custody.
Clayborne and Williams appeared in juvenile court Monday morning; it was a closed session, so only the two of them could be in the courtroom. The Department of Children’s Services said they could not share what was being discussed in the hearing for confidential purposes, but said the hearing pertains to the safety and wellbeing of the children.
During the hearing, about 25 supporters and family members waited in a room next door.
The DCS said the five children are currently staying with a family member as they always look for kinship first, but all legal decisions are up to DCS.
News 2 saw the children in the waiting room as well, playing with their siblings and family members.
After speaking with the DCS, a handful of Coffee County residents spoke up against DCS practices.
Family attorney Courtney Teasley told News 2 Monday afternoon that the judge assigned to the case issued a continuance, scheduling the criminal hearing for April 18.