A woman facing felony charges in connection with severe injuries sustained by her 1-month-old daughter was denied a reduction in her $250,000 bail Tuesday at a hearing before a Miller County circuit judge.
Crystal Uribe, 23, and her husband, Charles Uribe, 28, were arrested last month after staff at Wadley Regional Medical Center in Texarkana notified law enforcement about a baby in critical condition who was being taken to Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, according to testimony from Miller County Sheriff's Office Investigator Patsy DeHart given Tuesday at Crystal Uribe's bond hearing.
DeHart testified under questioning from Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell that almost all of the baby girl's ribs were broken and in various stages of healing, meaning the injuries were sustained at different times. The infant suffered two breaks in her pelvis, a broken leg and a head injury, DeHart said. DeHart said the baby showed "petechiae" or broken capillaries in her eyes, which doctors told DeHart were likely caused by "straining to cry or not cry."
DeHart said the infant suffered an injury to her esophagus, which caused an obstruction and affected her ability to take a bottle. DeHart said medical staff at Arkansas Children's advised her the injury might have been caused by someone putting something in the baby's throat.
Mitchell told Circuit Judge Carlton Jones that Crystal Uribe previously had her parental rights terminated by the state of Montana to a 1-year-old child. DeHart said her office is still waiting for records from that state concerning the circumstances of the child's removal.
Mitchell told the court Crystal Uribe has an assault conviction in Idaho for hitting a woman with a crowbar.
Crystal Uribe's lawyer, Danny Cook of Texarkana, asked the court to lower his client's bail from $250,000 to $10,000. Cook said Crystal Uribe has filed for divorce from Charles Uribe and intends to cooperate fully with prosecutors to "see that the person responsible gets the max."
Court records show Cook filed a divorce petition on Crystal Uribe's behalf Feb. 28, after the couple were arrested Feb. 15 on charges of first-degree battery.
Crystal Uribe testified she is employed at Taco Bell and will still have a job upon release. She said she has a place to live and wants to take classes Child Protective Services requires if she is to get her baby and the other 1-year-old child she has with Charles Uribe back into her custody.
Cook called Caroline Rollins, a close friend of Uribe's, to testify on her behalf. Rollins said Crystal Uribe lives and pays rent for a trailer on her property in Miller County and that she thinks highly of her and sees her children often.
Under cross examination, Mitchell asked Rollins, "Did you not know that 1-month-old baby was getting the snot beat out of her?"
Rollins said she saw the infant the day before she was hospitalized and noticed no bruises.
At the close of the hearing, Jones declined to lower Crystal Uribe's bail. Jones said he considered both the positive and negative factors in Crystal Uribe's circumstances and history, as well as the nature of the allegations and the charge she faces, in arriving at his decision.
Crystal and Charles Uribe are each charged with first-degree battery of a child. The offense is punishable by 10 to 40 years or life in prison. Both are scheduled to return to court next month.