Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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April 5, 2013

Mother sentenced to 50 year for injury to a child

Mom of malnourished child took stand in sentencing trial


PALO PINTO – After a full day of testimony Thursday, focused on assessing punishment for Amanda Rachelle Winters-Collins, who had pleaded guilty Monday to injury to a child, 12 jurors sentenced the 21-year-old mother to 50 years in prison for injury to a child and fined her $5,000.

The eight-women and four-men jury panel heard testimony all day, ending with closing remarks in the late afternoon. According to Palo Pinto County District Attorney Mike Burns, the jury took 20 minutes to deliberate on their sentence.

This was the second of two jury trials this week taking place in District Judge Mike Moore's courtroom and involving criminal cases against the parents of a 5-month old boy, who was found by Children's Protective Services last July in a severely malnourished condition.

On July 17, law enforcement and Children's Protective Services responded to a Kite Road travel trailer, in which Winters-Collins and Willie Lee Ray Collins, 23, were living with their two children, the 5-month-old infant son and an older baby girl, according to testimony this week.

In both trials, Burns showed photographs of what responders with CPS, emergency medical services  and law enforcement saw that July day. Images of the baby boy showed a small infant child whose skin appeared darkened and bluish-gray. His abdomen was extended and his chest was sunken, with seemingly each individual rib showing.

Mineral Wells Fire Department Capt. Sam Streun testified in the father's trial on Tuesday, that he was part of the EMS crew dispatched on July 17 for “dehydration of an infant.”

Streun said when he arrived at the scene, he met a CPS investigator at the driveway to the property and she was holding the infant in a blanket.

“When we uncovered him is when we saw [his] boney structure and sunken face, eyes and hands,” Streun told jurors Tuesday. “We could tell he was dehydrated and malnourished and … needed to go to Fort Worth in the condition he was in,” which he added was life threatening.

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