Oklahoma Grandmother Gets 17 Years for Murder After She Left Grandson, 5, in Hot Car at Tribal Casino

Posted on: June 13, 2020, 03:15h. 

Last updated on: June 13, 2020, 07:50h.

A 50-year-old Oklahoma woman was sentenced Thursday to more than 17 years in federal prison for murdering her 5-year-old grandson by abandoning him in a hot car while she spent hours at a casino nearly two years ago.

Oklahoma grandma casino murder
An Oklahoma grandmother will serve more than 17 years in federal prison after she pleaded guilty to murdering her grandson. Alanna Jean Orr admitted to leaving her the 5-year-old alone in a hot car while she spent more than six hours in the Kickapoo Casino in Harrah, Okla., back in June 2018. (Image: KIRO7.com)

Alanna Jean Orr was remanded into custody after US District Judge Scott Palk handed down the 210-month sentence on the second-degree murder charge. She pleaded guilty last July and faced up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

On June 21, 2018, Orr had her grandson in her car when she visited the Kickapoo Casino in Harrah, Okla., about 25 miles east of Oklahoma City. According to prosecutors, Orr entered the casino at 1:23 pm and left at 7:28 pm.

During this time Orr’s grandson remained in the car and the high temperature in Harrah that day approached 90 degrees,” read a statement from the US Attorney Timothy Downing, who represents Oklahoma’s Western District.

The car was turned off, leaving the child – identified in local media reports as Maddox Durbin – without air conditioning.

A few minutes after she left the casino, Orr called 911 and claimed her grandson choked and was not breathing. Officers met her at the Harrah Police Department. They tried to resuscitate the child but saw rigor mortis had started.

Faces Supervised Release, Gambling Ban

Federal authorities assumed the murder case because the crime took place on tribal trust land – the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma operate the casino – and both Orr and her grandson are tribal members.

In addition to the 17-1/2-year sentence, Palk added three years of supervised release after she leaves prison. As part of her supervised release, she will not be allowed to gamble, either online or in an establishment. Orr is also expected to take part in a problem gaming treatment program.

She also must pay more than $3,800 to the Oklahoma Crime Victims Compensation Board for restitution of funeral expenses.

Abandoning Kids to Gamble Not New

Unfortunately, kids being abandoned in cars while parents or guardians gamble is not uncommon, although deaths from such cases appear to be very rare.

In January, a Texas couple was charged with abandonment after they left their 16-month-old child in a running car for more than a half-hour at a Houston area gas station. While they were playing an eight-liner game, their car was stolen with the toddler inside.

The child was found later in a playground nearly 20 miles away.

Last August, three people were charged in Louisiana and accused of leaving a 2-year-old boy alone in a car at a truck stop casino. At one point, an employee noticed the child leaving the car and wandering toward the truck stop. An employee found the child, and after he was claimed, the individuals put the child back in the car and returned to the casino.

Several companies post public service announcements and signs across their gaming floors and properties reminding guests not to leave kids alone in vehicles, hotel rooms, or areas within casinos or resorts.