New Windsor Abuse Trial To Start Testimony Today

Mother Accused Of Beating Son With Belt, Cord

December 11, 1991|By Maria Archangelo | Maria Archangelo,Staff writer

WESTMINSTER — Testimony is set to begin today in the Carroll Circuit Court trial of a New Windsor woman charged with physically abusing her 15-year-oldson with an electrical cord and a leather belt in August.

The 41-year-old woman, whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of her son, is charged with one count of child abuse and one count ofbattery in the case.

Jury selection was completed late yesterday after last-minute plea negotiations broke down.

Attorneys in the case were set to give their opening arguments this morning.

According to court records, the state police became involved in the matter when the woman reported that her son ran away from home after 9 p.m. Aug. 2.

After a bulletin was sent out to the state police, Tfc. Robert Miller saw the boy, picked him up in his cruiser, and observed welts and bruises on his body, police reports said.

The boy reportedly told the trooper he ran away because of the beating.

Another trooper, Cpl. David Warner, went to the boy's home to tell his parents the boy had been found and to investigate the boy's claim that he had been beaten by his mother.

When Warner arrived at the home, the boy's mother said she beat the boy with an electrical cord and a leather belt to disciplinehim, court records show.

During a hearing to suppress the woman'sstatements to police yesterday, Warner testified that the boy's stepfather said he held the boy down on a bed while his mother beat him.

Defense attorney Christina Gutierrez of Baltimore tried to have that statement and those the woman made to Warner kept from the jury.

Gutierrez argued that the statements were made before the woman wasread her Miranda rights.

But Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck deniedthe motion to suppress the statements.

The boy, now 16, has been living with his best friend's family since the incident, according tocourt officials.

Assistant State's Attorney Kathi Hill is prosecuting the case for the state, which is expected to take up to two days.

If convicted of the child abuse charge, the woman could face up to 15 years in prison.

Battery is a common law offense and carriesno specific penalty.

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