Devin & Dustin Ducker
 - June 5, 1995
Jennie Bain Ducker strapped her two children into their car seats and left them there for several hours in the Tennessee heat. The car was said to have reached a temperature of over 120 degrees. Both of her children died as a result of her needing to party in a motel with her boyfriend and some other friends.

By the age of 16, Jennie dropped out of school after fining out that she was pregnant. She married the father of the baby and after a miscarriage, they got a divorce. At the age of 18, she married for the second time. Though Jennie's marriage to James Ducker would also be a short one, there was time for her to have two children, Devin and Dustin. Eventually, they got a divorce and Jennie would not allow James to see his children in the year prior to their deaths.

Some people who knew her, described her as a caring parent. People who had actually baby sat for her would say that she often left the children in their care for long periods of time and didn't bother to check on them at all. Pamela Ray, one of their sitters said that she would take care of them for up to 25 hours at a time. When jennie would show up, she'd say that she had been drinking and that she'd needed to sober up before she could take her children home.

On June 4, 1995, Jennie had gone to visit one of her boyfriends. The man, James Turner, had a son of his own and Jennie brought her boys since they all enjoyed playing together. At about 10:30 p.m., when James fell asleep, Jennie took her children and went home. At about 3:00 a.m., Jennie was in the car with her children when she was pulled over by a police officer. Sober and driving okay, the police let her go and watched as she pulled into her grandmothers driveway.

Jennie didn't stay home though and by 3:30 a.m., she had gone to the motel in McMinnville to see another one of her boyfriends, Micah Majors. Jennie had intended to have a serious conversation with him about their relationship. Jennie left the children in the car and locked the door, claiming she had every intention of not staying long. When she got to the room, she found Micah and some of his friends playing video games and drinking beer. Jennie drank some wine with them and supposedly she checked on her children a few times. She never told anyone in the room that her boys were locked in the car.

At around 5:00 a.m., Micah's friends decided to leave. Jennie walked them out and all of the men said she never went near her own car. She went back up to the room where Micah was and he wasn't in the mood to talk, he went to sleep. Jennie fell asleep as well and Micah said that when his alarm went off around noon, Jennie was still there and she patted him on the leg, telling him that she had to leave.

Within minutes of that happening, Jennie pulled up in front of the of the E.R. at River Park Hospital which was less than a mile from the motel. Jennie had Devin in her arms and was screaming for help when someone else grabbed Dustin and pulled him from the car seat. There was no way to save the boys, both were pronounced dead on arrival. Temperatures taken on both boys were over 108 degrees.

Jennie would tell the police different accounts of what had happened, including telling them that she left the boys in the car for only four hours while she went shopping. She took a blood alcohol test at about 2:00 p.m. and the results showed her level to be .06 which meant that earlier in the morning it would have been about .19, which is twice the legal limit. Jennie's car was searched and a half empty bottle of Crown Royal whiskey was found.

Jennie was arrested and charged with two counts of first degree murder. The stated didn't  think that Jennie had intended to kill her children, they think that what she did was aggravated child abuse. Prosecutors would say that she was drunk and she left the children in the car so that she could party with her friends.

Jennie's lawyer said that she was not impaired by alcohol that night, that she was suffering from Manic Depression and Bipolar Disorder. Jennie claimed that she had suffered from hallucinations since her childhood and that she had made several attempts at suicide. Psychiatric testimony said that Jennie's conditions caused her to have severe mood swing and that she suffered from a sleep disorder.

Jennie's condition supposedly left her so far out of touch with reality that she wasn't aware of what could happen if she left her children in the car. Other testimony would say that her sleep disorder caused her to be up for over 22 hours the previous night and that had been the cause of her crashing and not waking up in time to save her children. Defense experts would testify that the blood alcohol test was not accurate and that Jennie had a fungal infection in her arm that caused the faulty blood alcohol level.

The jury was left to decide if Jennie had acted in a criminal way and if she had was she guilty of first degree murder of aggravated child abuse. First degree murder would carry a life in prison sentence and aggravated child abuse would carry a 15 to 25 year sentence.

On October 3, 1995, the jury was out for just over four hours before coming back with a guilty of aggravated child abuse verdict. Judge Charles Haston sentenced Jennie to 18 years in prison. However, he said that he would willing to consider alternate ways for her to serve her time if she would not appeal the sentence. He also said:

"Stolen moments with this man in this motel room were more important than her babies" 

The Judge also voiced his opinion stating that he wasn't at all sure that Jennie was sorry for what she had done to her children and that her attitude at her sentencing seemed hostile to him. Jennie's attorney didn't agree:

 "I think she wants punishment. She feels very guilty. It's her parents that are hurting. They've
lost two grandchildren and a daughter" 
Mike Galligan

Jennie was sentenced under old guidelines that would allow her eligibility for parole after serving only 30% of her sentence with credit for work and good behavior. Jennie became eligible for parole in October of 1999. A juror who was at her parole hearing said that he thought her punishment was harsh and that he went along with it only because he thought another jury would convict her of first degree murder. Jennie's application for parole was denied at that time and she was eligible again in 2003.

Years later, Jennie would come up for parole again. The story of her children still brings up bad feelings in the town of McMinnville. People are not happy about the idea of her getting out of prison:

"I don't know how a mother could go in somewhere, leave her children in a car alone and forget 
about them until the next afternoon. I just think about my own children and every time I get in 
my hot car in the summertime, I think about those little babies strapped in that car seat, 
not able to get out"
Kelly Baker

When Jennie went into prison, she was 18 years old. Up for parole in March of 2007, she was 35. Four out of seven board members voted for her to be released. This was her third time up for parole and the parole board recommended that she be released.

I have been unable to find any news about if she actually got out of if she is still in prison.

Boys Left Buckled in Back Seat of a Sweltering Car Are Laid to Rest
June 09, 1995

McMINNVILLE, Tenn. — Dustin and Devin Ducker were laid to rest Thursday in tiny white caskets two days after they died side by side, buckled into their car seats in the back of their mother's sweltering car.

Investigators said their mother, Jennie Bain, was partying with four men in a motel room, had too much to drink and fell asleep as the temperature inside the car climbed as high as 115 degrees. Dustin, 1, and Devin, about 2, died of hyperthermia, or overheating, autopsies showed.

Bain, 20, attended the service but watched the burial from the back seat of a car. She was shielded by relatives as she left the church.

The boys' father, 23-year-old James Ducker, who had recently filed for divorce from Bain, plucked one flower from each coffin before they were lowered into the ground. He had driven overnight from Marshall, N.C., where he lives with his mother, to attend the funerals.

Bain has not been arrested or charged in the deaths. A grand jury is scheduled to hear the case June 16.

"There's a wide range of potential charges," said Dist. Atty. Bill Locke.

UPDATE - SORT OF: ? 2007

Mother in heat deaths case granted parole

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Warren County woman whose young children died when she left them unattended in a hot car has been granted parole from the state Board of Probation and Parole.

Jennie Bain Ducker, now 32, left her sons aged 1 and 2 in a car parked outside a McMinnville motel in 1995 while she visited her boyfriend who was staying there.

The boys died of hyperthermia as they were left alone in the unventilated car for more than eight hours as the temperature rose to an estimated 120 degrees.

A release date has not been set. A hearing officer recommended last month that she be paroled.

UPDATE:
Woman Jailed For Death Of Sons Gets Parole

Officials Approve Probation, Parole Of Jennie Ducker

POSTED: 2:46 pm CDT April 11, 2007
UPDATED: 2:57 pm CDT April 11, 2007

A Warren County woman serving time for the deaths of her two children is set to walk out of jail Monday.Jennie Ducker has spent more than 11 years in prison for the 1995 death of her two sons. The children, 1 and 2 years old, died after being left for eight hours in a hot car outside a motel. Officials estimated the temperature in the car rose to about 120 degrees. Ducker's probation and parole have been approved. She will walk out of prison Monday.

Death Occurred in the state of Tennessee

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