Soldier blames pride for keeping kids home alone in filth

TACOMA, Wash. -- The case against an Army soldier accused of leaving his young children home alone as he went to work is now in the hands of the judge. The children were found living in piles of filth in their Lakewood apartment.

Looks are deceiving, and from the outside everything looked normal in Quintin Dublin's Lakewood apartment. But inside, prosecutors say Dublin went to work at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, leaving his two young children -- ages 3- and 4-years old -- home alone all day for several weeks.

"People don't leave their 3- and 4-year olds alone in a car, much less in an apartment," said deputy Pierce County Prosecutor Robert Yu.

The kids were discovered when apartment managers went to check on a big water leak coming from that apartment.

"When I got to the corner of the entryway, I saw two little toddlers. I stopped and said 'Now is anybody home? They said 'No'," said maintenance director Darnell Taylor.

And they found the conditions were deplorable, according to former manager Kelly Ronnie.

"I observed clothing strewn throughout, trash, spoiled food, old food, feces on the walls smeared on the walls. Dirty dishes with food left on them," Ronnie said.

Dublin's attorney, Jason Johnson, said his client didn't maliciously try to harm his children.

"This case is about pride," Johnson said. "My client didn't want to admit that he needed help."

Dublin is a single parent with the children's mother living in Kansas.

"He didn't want to admit that he didn't have it all together," Johnson said. "He didn't want to admit that his children needed more than he could provide."

Dublin decided to have his case tried by a judge rather than a jury. He originally planned on testifying in his own defense, but changed his mind at the last minute. A decision is expected Friday morning. If found guilty, Dublin could spend a year in prison. His children are now with their mother in Kansas.