An El Paso County woman who allegedly abandoned her 3-year-old boy back in January has skirted a conviction on a charge of attempted first-degree murder, in exchange for a guilty plea on a single charge of felony child abuse.
Castle Rock felony defense lawyers understand that there are some cases in which there may be little chance of avoiding at least some jail time. However, an experienced attorney can work to negotiate those charges down to less serious offenses, therefore reducing the ultimate penalties you would otherwise face if convicted at trial.
In this case, the 28-year-old defendant could have faced life in prison if convicted on a charge of attempted first-degree murder. Instead, a conviction for felony child abuse, under Colorado Revised Code 18-6-401, she faces anywhere from probation to 16 years behind bars. Her sentencing is currently slated for mid-December.
According to law enforcement officials, the woman was suicidal. She planned to kill herself and reasoned that no one would want the boy if she was gone. She reportedly wrapped him up in her coat and dress and buried him under several feet of tumbleweeds. Authorities said she left him to die.
She was reportedly going through a divorce and was extremely depressed.
He was found a few hours later with only minor injuries. A woman reportedly saw him wondering around in a nightgown. He was found near a drainage ditch near some railroad tracks. He was taken to a hospital and released to the custody of his father.
Law enforcement officials reported there having been coyote tracks in the area where he was found, indicating the whole situation could have turned out far worse.
This was why prosecutors chose to file the more serious charge. It’s likely, however, that defense lawyers would have made a strong case as to the mother’s apparent mental illness. The prosecutors also likely agreed to the reduced charge because the child, although placed at risk, was not seriously hurt.
In order for a conviction on a child abuse charge, the state must prove that a person caused injury to risk the child’s health or life or permitted the child to be placed in a situation that poses a threat to either.