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Local News

May 8, 2013

Prison sentence issued in child abuse case

— Erin Elizabeth Saari has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty in connection with a reported child abuse case involving her daughter.

Saari, of West Tawakoni, formally waived a jury during a hearing last month in the 196th District Court.

During a hearing in the court Monday, Saari entered a plea of guilty to a charge of injury to a child, recklessly causing injury and was sentenced to 14 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Institutional Division.

The charge is a second degree felony, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of from two to 20 years in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000.

Trevor Scott Copeland of Quinlan was convicted in February in connection with the same incident and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Saari had previously pleaded not guilty.

During Copeland’s trial prosecutors announced Saari had agreed to testify against Copeland, in exchange for a guilty plea to a lesser charge and a sentence of two years in a state jail.

Instead, Saari’s trial on the original charge had been reset for Monday, prior to her waiver of the jury.

Saari and Copeland each received one indictment from the Hunt County grand jury for injury to a child by an act.

They were arrested on Dec. 14, 2011 and  charged in what authorities claimed was an assault on Saari’s 2-year-old daughter.

The indictment alleged the pair injured the child by “punching, kicking, hitting with blunt force trauma and/or strangling with hands, fists, ground, and/or an object unknown to the grand jury.”

The child recovered from the assault.

Saari testified during Copeland’s trial that Copeland was responsible for the child’s injuries.

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