Mother gets probation in child abuse | RecordCourier.com

Mother gets probation in child abuse

by Sheila Gardner
sgardner@recordcourier.com

The mother of an infant who suffered leg and skull fractures at the hands of her father was sentenced Tuesday to probation.

District Judge Dave Gamble sentenced Allisha Ann Haltom, 26, to four years in Nevada State Prison, suspended, and placed her on five years probation.

She pleaded guilty to child abuse or neglect, admitting she was unable to protect her baby daughter because of her drug use.

The baby was three months old when she was hospitalized Oct. 19, 2011, with two skull fractures, a fractured femur and other injuries.

Jonathan Paul Flagg, 31, the infant’s father, denied inflicting the injuries and is set for trial March 19.

Shortly after Haltom’s arrest, she was charged with possession of a controlled substance, and using and/or being under the influence of a controlled substance, heroin.

Deputies reportedly found heroin in her clothing when she was taken into custody.

The criminal complaint stated Haltom did not adequately care for and protect her daughter from her abusive father, thereby causing the baby to be placed in situations where she was physically abused by Flagg.

The baby has been placed in the care of Child Protective Services and was in the court audience on Tuesday with a family member.

“This is a very tragic, awful case. The one, good thing is in the back of my courtroom – an astonishingly healthy child,” Gamble said.

Haltom has completed an inpatient treatment program and is living in Reno at STEP 2, a comprehensive substance abuse treatment program for women.

“I’ve been working very hard,” Haltom told Gamble. “I know I have a long road ahead of me to be a good mom.”

Attorney Kris Brown asked Gamble to grant probation to her client.

“Ms. Haltom has acknowledged both the depth of her addiction and her inability to care for her child. She has taken every positive step to change her situation and that of her daughter’s life,” Brown said.

“This was a tragic situation. I think Ms. Haltom has had a chance to grow from it. She’s learned what a blessing her daughter is in her life,” Brown said.

Gamble said he was concerned that although Haltom said she first met Flagg when he was in custody, she was unaware of his two prior convictions for gross misdemeanor child abuse stemming from 2004 incident involving a former girlfriend’s child.

Brown said Flagg was in jail on bad check charges, and Haltom didn’t learn of the prior child abuse charges until she was at the hospital with their baby and Flagg’s father said, “he’s done it again.”

Haltom told investigators she left the baby alone with Flagg three times following her birth July 15.

The first time in August, when the little girl was just a month old, Haltom said she observed no abuse.

The second time, in mid-September, Haltom said she was gone about 45 minutes. When she returned, the baby had a bruise above her eyebrow and a swollen lip. She said Flagg told her he accidentally hit the baby with a television remote when he was adjusting her blanket and the device flew in her face. The third incident on Oct. 19 resulted in Flagg’s arrest. Haltom was taken into custody a few days later.

For the next five years, Haltom is subject to random search and seizure and chemical testing for the presence of drugs or alcohol which she is forbidden to use.

If she receives medical treatment, Haltom must inform her provider that she is an addict and should be treated with nonaddictive medication.

She admitted at her arraignment that she was an intravenous heroin user. Haltom must complete the STEP2 program and follow all directives in the program. She also is to participate in family drug court in Reno.

“You impress me very much with your seriousness,” Gamble said. “You have a terrible, terrible addiction. The problem hasn’t gone away. It’s just hiding out there waiting for you.”