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Plea offer made to Hammond woman charged in infant son's severe scalding

Plea offer made to Hammond woman charged in infant son's severe scalding

From the This week in local crime news: Police: Burglar breaks into sleeping family's home in Crown Point, appears to be holding gun series

CROWN POINT — A 22-year-old woman may enter a plea agreement next week to resolve charges stemming from her infant son's scalding at their Hammond home, her defense attorney said Wednesday.

Cristiana Mendez appeared Wednesday in Lake Criminal Court with defense attorney Adam Tavitas. The defense attorney told Judge Pro Tempore Gina Jones the state had offered his client a plea agreement.

He said he needed to review the plea offer with Mendez and requested a new hearing for Sept. 13. He said if Mendez did not accept the agreement, they would use that court date to affirm a jury trial for Oct. 9.

Mendez is charged with three counts of neglect of a dependent and four counts of battery on allegations she intentionally scalded her 19-month-old son July 19, 2017, by running him a bath with dangerously high water temperatures.

The child was in critical condition at Comer's Children's Hospital in Chicago for partial-to-full thickness burns on about 40 percent of his body.

Detectives determined the water temperature in Mendez's Hammond apartment reached up to 135 degrees after running the tap for a minute, which doctors said was sufficient to cause such intense burns.

Mendez initially denied knowledge about the burns, but then claimed she put her son in the bathtub and poured water over his head while washing him, records state.

Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail


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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.

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