#childabuse | Two child abuse trials take turns: one gains guilty plea, second moved to next docket

A 30-year-old Lawton man staved off his scheduled jury trial by pleading guilty to child neglect.

Sammy Valesquez was scheduled to begin his jury trial in District Judge Gerald Neuwirth’s courtroom Wednesday for a felony charge of child abuse by injury.

The charge was amended before Velasquez offered his confession.

“I left my autistic stepson to take a bath and due to my neglect he … (was injured by) scalding hot water and suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns,” Velasquez hand wrote as part his plea paperwork filed in court.

The District Attorney’s office recommended that Velasquez receive a 6 year sentence with Department of Corrections with 2 years to serve and the rest suspended. He was also recommended a fine of $1,000.

Velasquez’s sentencing will be at 9 a.m. today in Neuwirth’s courtroom.

The trial for Vito Asaro, accused of a felony count of child abuse by injury, has been moved to the January/February 2020 trial docket.

The trial was slated to begin this week in District Judge Emmitt Tayloe’s courtroom with Assistant District Attorney Jill Oliver prosecuting the case and Dustin Phillips, of Oklahoma City, representing Asaro. He is scheduled to return to court at 9 a.m. Jan. 10 for scheduling for the January/February 2020 docket.




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