Mindy McCready a ‘Happy Girl’ Leaving Arkansas Courthouse
Mindy McCready spent several hours Monday (Dec. 5) making a case for custody of her 5-year-old son before a judge in Arkansas, in what was a private hearing with sealed proceedings. But while it's not known what happened behind those closed courtroom doors, it seems things went her way. The 36-year-old was beaming when she briefly spoke to reporters gathered outside the Izard County courthouse.
"I can't talk about it, but I'll tell y'all, I'm a happy girl," she said (quote via ABC News). "I love Judge (Lee) Harrod, I'll tell you that. I love that man. He's a good man."
Mindy's supposed court victory comes a week after she fled Florida with her son, Zander. A court ordered her to return him to his legal guardian -- her mother, Gayle Inge -- but the singer refused to, saying she was protecting Zander from danger and that she herself is too pregnant to travel. (Mindy is reportedly seven months along with twins.) The singer and Mrs. Inge have been in a bitter custody battle over the little boy for several years, with one of their arguments resulting in Mindy being arrested for allegedly assaulting her mother.
Further proof of the judge siding with Mindy came in the form of a text message she sent to HLN's Jane Valez Mitchell last night, reading, "WE WON!!! ZAN STAYS. Court details sealed but we love Judge Lee W Harrod."
Still, this is likely a temporary triumph, as Mindy and her mother still have an open custody case in Florida. Plus, Zander's father, Billy McKnight, is also fighting for his custodial rights and seems quite confident he will prevail. "The attorney for the state and the case worker -- they've already voted me to have full custody," he tells Taste of Country.
The little boy's whereabouts at this time are unknown. But sources tell NBC that Zander is in a foster home in Arkansas. It's unclear whether authorities will return him to his grandmother in Florida or to his mother in Arkansas.
It's also unclear whether Mindy will face federal kidnapping charges or jail time for defying the Florida judge's order to return Zander to the Inge home. But that's a risk she was willing to take.
"I'm a mom first," she told the Associated Press last week. "No matter what happens, I'm going to protect my kid. If I have to go to jail, so be it."