Woman declines plea deal in child abuse case

By Thomas Garcia, PNT Staff Writer

A Portales woman charged with child abuse turned down a plea offer Monday morning in District Court in Portales, according to the district attorney’s office.

Alicia Dean, 32, was arrested in February a day after her 2-year-old daughter was admitted to the Roosevelt General Hospital emergency room with second-degree burns. Dean told authorities the unattended child climbed into the bathtub as it was filling with hot water, according to Roosevelt County Sheriff Darren Hooker. Hooker said Dean’s explanation was inconsistent with the injuries to the child and following an investigation, a warrant was issued for Dean’s arrest.

District Attorney Matt Chandler declined to comment on the details of the plea offer.

Public defender Brett Carter did not return calls seeking comment.

Dean is being held at the Roosevelt County Detention Center on a $50,000 cash-only bond on a charge of first-degree child abuse resulting in great bodily harm, Hooker said.

The child, who required skin grafts and operations to treat the injuries, remains in the custody of the Children Youth and Families Department, according to Lisa Schleicher, public information officer for CYFD.

The child is doing well and is receiving follow-up care, Schleicher said.