Mom takes plea deal in death of 3-year-old

Updated: 03/05/2014 7:58 PM | Created: 03/05/2014 4:45 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed,

A Pojoaque mother charged in the beating death of her 3-year-old son took a plea deal on Wednesday.

Leland Valdez died from blunt force injuries in 2011. His mother, Tabetha Van Holtz, and her boyfriend, Steve Gallegos, told hospital officials that Leland fell off a chair.

In court this afternoon, Van Holtz pleaded guilty to one count of abandonment resulting in great bodily harm of a child and one count of child abuse.

According to the District Attorney's Office, Van Holtz could face up to nine years in prison.

She will be sentenced in August after she testifies in the trial against Gallegos, who is also charged in the child's death.

Van Holtz previously filed a motion in district court claiming Gallegos caused Leland's death when he hit him in a parking lot, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

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