Man gets year in jail for child abuse
A Minden man was sentenced to one year in the Douglas County jail yesterday by District Judge Dave Gamble, Department One.
Kevin Scott Deane, 25, was convicted by plea agreement of child neglect on Jan. 7.
When the incident occurred, approximately Aug. 25-28, 1996, Deane was living in a trailer on a ranch in Minden. He was taking care of his former girlfriend’s children while she was at work.
The victim, a 10-year-old son of Deane’s former girlfriend, was beaten by Deane because he was chewing on a piece of string. According to reports, Deane struck the child repeatedly on both sides of his face causing red, swollen hand prints to form on the boys cheeks. The boy also had a swollen, bloody lip resulting from the abuse.
After Deane abused the victim, he then hid the child on a mountain behind his ranch residence. The boy was hidden by himself for three days, until, he said, he thought he saw a snake and ran home.
After the boy missed school, child welfare became concerned and contacted the boy’s mother who, covering for Deane, said the boy was rock hunting.
When child welfare asked how he could miss that much school while rock hunting, the boy’s mother then said he was sick.
Child welfare decided it would not be best at that time to ask why the victim was rock hunting while sick.
Deane appeared no less than four times over the past five months in Gamble’s court for various arraignments, plea changes, contempt hearings and, finally, sentencing.
In Deane’s Jan. 7 court appearance, he changed his not guilty plea to guilty telling the judge that he hit the victim because Deane was unemployed and overreacted to the situation.
“Obviously this is a serious offense,” said Terri Roeser, Deane’s attorney, at his sentencing yesterday. “Deane always took responsibility for the crime. He never tried to minimize the crime. He’s willing to take the consequences for his actions.”
Roeser said she’s seen a change in Deane’s attitude over the last few months.
“I’m impressed with the progress he’s made,” said Roeser. “He keeps in contact with my office.”
Deane was held in contempt of court by Gamble for not keeping in contact with his lawyer and sentenced to a day in jail in early October.
“I’m asking your honor to consider granting him the privilege of probation,” said Roeser, who then read a list of conditions of probation Deane suggested for himself.
These conditions included a one-year suspended jail sentence, three years of probation, 168 hours of community service, random drug testing, anger management classes, and Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
“What he did was wrong, it was a horrible thing to do,” said Roeser. “Give him this opportunity.”
Deane then addressed the judge.
“A few months ago, you told me that if I was going to make this work, I would have to do a 180-degree turn around and I think I did,” said Deane. “I looked at my drug problem, out of my own free will. I don’t want to be a burden to the community, I want to serve the community.”
Deane then pointed out various offenses to the judge, telling him that most of his offenses occurred in the early 90s, when he was a different person.
Gamble was quick to point out to Deane that he did have a few offenses on his record in the more recent past, including the one for which he was about to be sentenced.
“I realize now that I abused this child that I was parenting,” said Deane.
“Did you tell the officers that you were wrestling and the boy got bruised?” Gamble asked responding to Deane and his lawyer’s assertion that Deane was always up front about the crime and willing to take responsibility.
“No, I told them I slapped him,” said Deane.
“The boy said you slapped him three times,” said Gamble, who said the slaps caused bruises on both sides of the boy’s face and a purple lip.
“I hit him more than once,” said Deane. “I would like at least one chance, if I screw up once, then I’ll do the year.”
When Deane was finished Gamble sentenced him and as the bailiffs took Deane to jail Gamble told Deane he was glad the man was now off drugs and hoped he continued that way.