Jury finds Emily Glass not guilty of child endangerment

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

The stepmother of a 5-year-old boy who's been missing for three months has been found not guilty of child endangerment in an unrelated case involving her young daughter. 

The state and defense presented their closing arguments Wednesday morning in the case against 27-year-old Emily Glass. The jurors deliberated for less than an hour before returning the verdict. 

Following the acquittal, Glass was released from the Sedgwick County Jail.

Glass had been jailed on $50,000 bond for one count of child endangerment. She lost custody of her 1-year-old daughter in April. The girl remains in the care of the state. 

"We are glad that this case is behind us and maybe the community can turn back to what's really important:  searching for and finding Lucas Hernandez," said Glass' attorney, Julia Leth-Perez.

Glass remains a person of interest in the Lucas Hernandez case.


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Emily Glass remained calm in the courtroom when the trial began on Tuesday. The state presented a video clip of Glass being interrogated after she reported 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez missing. In the video, she admits to smoking marijuana and then taking her daughter to Olive Garden. 

"I smoke it when I don't feel good, then I stop, and I smoked a cigarette and get back to it," Glass said in the video. "Smoked another cigarette then we got ready."

The case was at risk of being thrown out because Glass' attorney argued there was not any specific evidence from testing to prove Glass was under the influence.

"The things that are not going to be submitted to the jury are hair follicle, blood, saliva, weed, paraphernalia," Glass' attorney said Tuesday. "All of this here correct? Yes. Yet you allege or claim that she had marijuana present in her system."

The defense also argues that neither marijuana nor paraphernalia were found at Glass' house and there were no tangible injuries to the child. 

Ultimately, the judge decided it was her own admission to smoking pot that kept the case from being thrown out.

SEARCH FOR LUCAS

Glass is the stepmother of Lucas Hernandez. On Feb. 17, Glass reported Lucas missing. She said she took a shower, went down for a nap and a few hours later, the boy was gone from their east Wichita home.

Find Lucas: 90 days and counting

Since then, there have been massive searches with law enforcement and the public. Nobody has been charged in Lucas’ disappearance.

In court documents detailing the child endangerment case, Glass said the day before Lucas went missing, she was cleaning, went to the garage to smoke marijuana and drove to a restaurant. Her daughter was with her during this time.

DAD ALSO HEADING TO COURT

The father of Lucas is also heading to court soon. Jonathan Hernandez was arrested for battery in an unrelated case. He’s accused of abusing Emily Glass’ 6-year-old son. His bench trial is set for May 23.

KAKE's Monica Castro and Annette Lawless contributed to this story.

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