Teenage parents in child abuse case to be tried as adults
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The Las Cruces teenage parents suspected of child abuse of their 3-month-old son will be tried as adults, according to the District Attorney's office.
Golden Brown, 17, and Clarissa Gonzalez,16, were arrested and charged with a count each of intentional child abuse resulting in great bodily harm, conspiracy to commit child abuse and tampering with evidence.
Brown was also charged with resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.
"Before we commit to charging children as adults we make sure the circumstances are warranted for that to happen and I felt that in this case the facts warranted them being tired as adults," said District Attorney Mark D'Antonio.
Investigators said the teen parents took the child to Memorial Medical Center on August 3rd for possible seizures.
According to a statement of facts, Brown and Gonzalez told doctors the boy had fallen from a chair only a foot high.
In the documents, doctors told investigators the injuries were not consistent with the story and there were signs of on-going abuse.
When police met with Gonzalez, they said she changed her story several times and she said she was "covering" for Brown.
The statement of facts alleges Brown lied to investigators on the location where the injuries took place and tired to run from officers at the hospital.
D'Antonio explained there is a special process in place to determine if these type of offenders can serve their sentence through child custody.
He said if those resources aren't available, then they will be sentenced as adults.
Both are currently facing up to 18 years and a maximum of 30 years if the child dies.
If Brown and Gonzalez are amenable by the child's court then they would only serve time until they are 21 years old.
The child is at University Medical Center in critical condition.