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Woman charged with 3 felonies in suspected child drug abuse case
The mother whose infant daughter allegedly tested positive for the presence of methamphetamines and ecstasy in her sysytem has been charged with multiple counts of child abuse.
Maria Robles, 25, who appeared in Yuma Justice Court on Thursday for her arraignment, was charged with two counts of child abuse and one count of endangerment.
During the brief court hearing before Yuma Justice of the Peace Greg Stewart, prosecutor Jim Eustace told the court the charges are classified as dangerous crimes against children and carry with them a mandatory sentence, which can be up to 17 years for each offense.
Eustace also said the County Attorney's Office had no concern about the $250,000 bond amount that had previously been set in Robles' case, but asked to have it converted to a cash bond, which the judge agreed to do.
“Considering what she is facing, there is a chance she could flee,” Eustace said.
A court-ordered cash bond requires the defendant to pay the total amount of bail in cash before being released from custody. In addition to appointing a public defender to represent her, the judge scheduled Robles' next court date, a preliminary hearing, for 4 p.m. Aug. 24.
Robles was arrested Monday by the Yuma police following a weeklong investigation that began Aug. 6, after a social worker from Phoenix Children's Hospital reported the positive test results.
The 10-month-old child had been flown from Yuma Regional Medical Center to Phoenix to be treated for what was initially believed to be a scorpion sting, police stated.
The girl's blood was tested during her treatment, and traces of the illicit drugs were allegedly discovered.
According to YPD, detectives investigating the matter said Robles allegedly admitted to using methamphetamines, and to allowing the infant into close proximity with the substance.
The child is now in the custody of Child Protective Services.
Robles was booked into the Yuma County detention facility on charges of child abuse, possession of dangerous drugs, use of dangerous drugs and endangerment.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.