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Mother pleads guilty in scalding case

By Staff | Nov 3, 2008

The mother of a two-year-old girl scalded with hot water has pleaded guilty to child neglect.

In reaching a plea agreement, a three-day trial set to begin Oct. 29 for Jennifer Korn, 19, of Kiester, was canceled.

“She agreed to terminate parental rights to her two children if she doesn’t have to serve any jail time,” says Faribault County Attorney Brian Roverud.

Korn was originally charged with a felony — neglect or endangerment of a child/neglect — carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The charge stemmed from an incident in which her daughter suffered second- and third-degree burns over 40 percent of her body, a court complaint says.

On Nov. 7, county authorities were notified when Korn took her daughter to the Naeve Hospital emergency room in Albert Lea. The child was later transferred to the burn unit at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

According to court papers, Korn and Del Angel waited before taking the child to the hospital.

The two talked about what they were going to say had happened because she wanted to cover for him, says the complain.

Roverud says Korn was charged because she “waited several hours” before seeking medical attention for her child.

In pleading guilty to a gross misdemeanor, Korn could have faced a sentence of one year in jail and up to $3,000 fine.

Roverud says a pre-sentence investigation must still be completed before Korn is sentenced.

In September, 17-year-old Selerino Del Angel of Kiester pleaded guilty to a felony-level charge of malicious punishment of a child.

Initially, he was charged with first-degree assault and neglect or endangerment of a child.

In his plea bargain, Del Angel will serve up to 42 months in prison. A pre-sentence investigation must still be completed.