- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A 25-year-old Santa Fe County woman faces up to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to charges stemming from her 3-year-old son’s death in 2011.

Tabetha Van Holtz of Pojoaque pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of child abuse and abandonment resulting in great bodily harm in Leland Valdez’s death.

Van Holtz’s then-boyfriend, Steven Gallegos, still faces several felony child abuse charges.

Van Holtz will be required to testify against Gallegos, and she won’t be sentenced until his trial is completed.

The boy’s father had warned state child protection officials that the boy was being abused in the mother’s home.



However, a Children, Youth and Families Department supervisor determined there wasn’t enough evidence to remove the boy from Van Holtz’s custody.

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