OLATHE, Kan. -- "I feel really lucky today," said Marques Anderson, 23, who left the Johnson County courthouse in Olathe on Wednesday knowing he could have faced jail time.
The Kansas City, Kan. man charged with child endangerment in July 2015 received a sentence of one year of probation on Wednesday.
Marques Anderson was charged, along with his sister Mylesha, 24, with felony aggravated child endangerment for leaving their 2-year-old cousin inside her parked car on a hot July day in Merriam, Kan.
Police said that the siblings were inside a cell phone store at a strip mall near Johnson Drive and Antioch Road while the child baked in the car. People shopping and working in the area saw the child crying and sweating and broke the car window.
The incident was captured by a bystander on a cell-phone video, showing the frantic effort to rescue the child. The woman who used a tire iron to break the window was later recognized with an award for saving the child.
"The windows were not cracked. We were only in that store for less than 10 minutes I think, but we still made a big mistake. I'm just so grateful that my cousin survived," Marques Anderson told FOX 4's Robert Townsend during an exclusive interview after Anderson left the courtroom with his mother, Leslie Anderson and lawyer.
"I was just so selfish that day. I got up and when we left her in that car we were inside that store too long. It was never intentional, just a big mistake on our parts," said Anderson.
Anderson has already spent 18 days in jail after entering a plea agreement back in December. He said he's learned a tough lesson.
"I just know spending 18 days in jail was enough time for me. I told the judge I have learned my lesson and that it will never happen again. I've learned the importance of my actions and the importance of family. I would never intentionally harm anyone, and, I'm just truly grateful that my cousin is okay. It's been difficult on our entire family," said Anderson.
"I am also glad he didn't receive jail time. I wish the probation was even shorter, but we will get through all of this. We've talked a lot about what happened last summer and we've worked it out as a family. Now, we just want to put it behind us, " said Leslie Anderson, the defendant's mother.
Anderson could have received a maximum sentence of 7 months in prison. The hearing lasted less than 30 minutes. Before making his decision, Judge Thomas Sutherland considered the fact that Anderson had a clean record before last summer's incident. The fact that the incident involved a family member also affected the judge's ruling. Attorneys for both sides left the courthouse satisfied with the judge's decision.
Anderson's sister, Mylesha, faces the same charge. She's currently free on bond and is due in court next Thursday for a plea hearing.
Watch FOX 4's coverage from July 2015 in the video player below: