Couple accused of leaving 8-year-old alone to gamble at Seminole Hard Rock Casino

TAMPA — A Port Richey couple rang in the new year playing the slots at Seminole Hard Rock Casino.

The only problem, according to Hillsborough sheriff's deputies: They left their 8-year-old daughter unsupervised at the La Quinta Inn for 7 1/2 hours while they gambled.

Donovan and Nancy Jewell of 7421 Bent Oak Circle were arrested Friday and charged with child abuse by neglect. Deputies say the couple left their daughter alone at the inn at 4811 U.S. 301 N in Tampa, from 9 p.m. until 4:30 a.m.

The girl told deputies she fell asleep about 10 p.m. and woke up at 1 a.m., scared that her mother wasn't back yet. So she went to the hotel lobby for help. When deputies arrived, an arrest report states, the girl was crying and distraught.

After some questioning, deputies contacted police at the nearby Seminole Hard Rock Casino, who located the couple.

Nancy Jewell, 41, and Donovan Jewell, 42, were booked into Orient Road Jail. Each was being held late Friday on $2,000 bail.

Couple accused of leaving 8-year-old alone to gamble at Seminole Hard Rock Casino 01/01/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 1, 2010 9:07pm]

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