Intoxicated Mom's Child Abuse Conviction Reversed

Oct 8, 2013

The state Court of Appeals has overturned the felony child abuse conviction of a Curry County woman whose 3-year-old son was found wandering outside her apartment at 2 a.m. wearing only a dirty diaper.

The court said Monday in a split decision there wasn't enough evidence to support Samantha Garcia's conviction of negligent child abuse by endangerment.

A neighbor found the crying boy in May 2010. The mother was asleep inside the apartment, where Clovis police found a marijuana pipe, a partially burned marijuana cigarette along with empty beer cans, vodka bottles and vomit on the floor.

Judge Jonathan Sutin said upholding the woman's conviction could leave thousands of parents at risk of felony prosecution based on little more than "evidence of intoxication, sleep and an apparently unsecured door."

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