Accused child abuser may enter plea

By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer

A Portales man accused of abusing his infant son may reach a plea agreement with prosecutors rather than face a jury, attorneys said Monday.

Robert Neely faces a maximum penalty of 18 years in prison if convicted of the charges against him. Ralph Dowden, his attorney, and prosecutor Donna Mowrer told the court they may enter into a plea agreement. Terms of the plea agreement were not announced.

Neely was indicted on Jan. 18 on first-degree child-abuse charges and is accused of injuring Dezauron S. Neely, who was 3 months old at the time of the incident. The baby was taken to Roosevelt General Hospital. According to a medical report, the child suffered internal injuries to his brain. The incident report also indicated the boy suffered broken bones.

Neely told police he had been sitting at a computer desk while the infant was lying on the floor, court records show. Neely said the infant started “fussing” and he got up to check the baby, then his feet became tangled and he fell on the baby.

Roosevelt General Hospital medical workers heard Neely’s explanation about the accident and didn’t feel it was consistent with the baby’s injuries, according to a Portales police report.

Neely is being held in the Roosevelt County Detention Center with a bond at $50,000 cash.