McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

March 31, 2014

Child abuse charge

Wilburton woman charged with child abuse at Walmart after allegedly hitting a 3-year-old relative

By Kandra Wells
Editor

McALESTER — A Wilburton woman has been charged with child abuse after allegedly hitting a 3-year-old relative while they were in a parking lot at Walmart on March 14.

Ashlyn Gotes, 26, faces up to life imprisonment if convicted of the charge of child abuse by injury.

According to an affidavit filed in the case March 17, Gotes told police she had taken her niece shopping at the store when the child began “throwing a fit, screaming and kicking.” She said she took the child to the parking lot and tried to place her in her car seat and the girl unbuckled herself and tried to get out of the car. So Gotes whipped her with her hand, according to the affidavit.

Police said the child had raised finger marks on her leg and the beginning of bruising on a leg and buttock area, according to the court affidavit.

McAlester police had been called by a bystander who allegedly saw Gotes hitting the child, and store video surveillance was also used in the investigation, according to the affidavit filed in the case.

Gotes was taken into custody and remained jailed Tuesday in lieu of $100,000 pending a court hearing Friday.

Her attorney, Brecken Wagoner, has declined to comment on the case.

The child has been released to her mother, according to the court case.

Contact Kandra Wells at kwells@mcalesternews.com.