Samantha L. Dechert, 25, reportedly changed her plea to guilty in a plea deal with the Jasper County prosecutor’s office.
Dechert had reportedly been charged with first-degree assault in connection with head injuries suffered by her 2-month-old son, William E. Bustamante, on Feb. 13, 2012. The prosecutor’s office amended the charge to felony child abuse on Friday, and Dechert accepted a plea offer at a hearing Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court.
The prosecutor reportedly agreed to limit the prison time that she might receive to 15 years, and the defendant agreed to waive her right to a sentencing-assessment report. Circuit Judge David Dally accepted the plea agreement at the hearing and assessed the prison term.
Dechert reportedly took her son to the emergency room of Freeman Hospital West with seizures a day after he is believed to have suffered a serious head injury. But she left the hospital before the child was seen by a doctor.
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