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Suburban Phoenix mom pleads not guilty to child abuse for leaving baby in hot car

TEMPE, Ariz. -- A woman accused of leaving her infant son in a hot car while she went grocery shopping has pleaded not guilty to child abuse.

A Maricopa County Superior Court spokeswoman said 39-year-old Maria Theresa Pio of Chandler entered her plea during an arraignment Thursday.

Tempe police said an off-duty first-responder discovered the 1-year-old child crying and sweating profusely inside the car that wasn't running about 3 p.m. on April 12.

Firefighters, fire medics and police responded, removing the infant from the vehicle quickly.

The boy was transported to a Tempe hospital, treated by medical personnel and released to his father.

Police said the interior temperature of the vehicle was measured at 124 degrees and the infant car seat was 113 degrees.

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