TERRE HAUTE — A Terre Haute mother has received a six-year prison sentence for felony child neglect of her 10-month-old daughter under a plea agreement accepted Monday in Vigo Superior Court 3.
Dawn Day Gutierrez, 21, pleaded guilty in June to class-B felony neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injuries. In her plea agreement, two class-C felony charges of neglect of a dependent were dropped.
The charges stem from an investigation of the child’s injuries after her mother and father, Fernando Gutierrez-Cabrera, 21, took the baby to Terre Haute Regional Hospital for treatment in November 2008. The little girl had been severely burned on one leg, had a broken arm, cuts on her feet, and had been bitten on the shoulder. Other older injuries also were found during an examination of the child.
The child’s father was arrested Nov. 28, and Gutierrez was arrested Dec. 3. Both have remained in the Vigo County Jail since that time.
The baby was treated at Riley Hospital for Children and was released to the care of Child Protective Services. A representative of CPS made no comment on the status of the child during the Monday sentencing.
Gutierrez-Cabrera also has signed a plea agreement, and is scheduled to appear in Superior Court 3 on July 27 for a ruling on the agreement.
Last November’s investigation into the child’s injuries revealed that when she was taken to the hospital by her parents, she had seven broken bones, and her right collarbone and elbow recently had been broken.
Court records show the child’s mother initially told police and Child Protective Services that her daughter “had fallen out of a chair” when asked about the arm injuries. She also initially said the burn was from “hot soup,” but the father later admitted to putting a just-microwaved box of food on the baby’s leg.
Court records also show the parents told police that they had tied the child’s hands and feet to her walker so she could not move and make noise, and they had hit the child in the head with a shoe and a water bottle to keep her awake during the day so she would sleep through the night.
When Gutierrez was arrested, she had two black eyes and a cut on her nose. Her husband was charged with domestic battery in addition to three class-C felony counts of neglect of a dependent and the class-B felony of battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person under the age of 14.
At her sentencing Monday, Gutierrez was ordered to serve four years of the six-year sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction, with the two remaining years to be served on formal probation. She will receive credit for time she already has spent in jail, in addition to good-time credit, which amounts to 446 days credit.
Gutierrez-Cabrera’s bail is set at $50,000 with no 10 percent allowed.
The couple reportedly married in the fall of 2008. A divorce was granted in April 2009.