Elgin man to serve two-year sentence for child neglect

LAWTON – Entering a guilty plea on a child neglect charge, an Elgin man has been ordered to serve a two-year sentence with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. An initial filing in the Comanche County District Court states that on July 31, 2018, Sammy Daniel Velasquez, 30, of Elgin, was charged with a criminal felony on one count child abuse by injury. On Oct. 16, 2019, court documents show the initial charge was amended to child neglect. Information provided in an affidavit for warrant issued by Elgin Police Officer Ralph Parsons indicated that Sammy had been caring for his girlfriend’s son while she was at work in 2018, when the boy was injured by hot water. According to the document, Memorial Hospital Unit Secretary Beverly Henning received a call from a male stating that, “His son had burned his feet real bad by dropping a pan of hot water on them.” Officer Parsons noted in the report that Sammy waived his Miranda Rights and provided a statement. Upon interview, Sammy said the boy had drawn his own bathwater and “must have climbed in the tub on his own accord.” After hearing the boy screaming, he said he googled burn care and contacted the emergency room for help. 

After examining the child and listening to the explanations about his injuries, Dr. Christopher Lentz, a medical doctor who specializes in the treatment of burns from Integris Baptist Medical Center, produced a written statement based on his medical impression. The document noted that Dr. Lentz said the boy’s burns “were not consistent with the story given by caretakers.” In his opinion, the child had been placed into the hot water, then removed. According to the document, the boy’s mother reported that her son is a high functioning, low verbal autistic child. Dr. Lentz said that the child was responsive to “normal painful stimuli” and that it would have been difficult to place himself into hot water that would cause the type of injuries he sustained. Court information stated that the boy was five years old at the time of the incident and suffered “severe burns to his feet, buttocks, left hand and left arm.” After waiving his right to a jury trial, record shows that Sammy pleaded guilty to the amended charge on Oct. 16, 2019, and was remanded to the Comanche County Detention Center. Court records show that he was sentenced the following day by Judge Gerald Neuwirth. Sammy received a six-year sentence with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections of which four years was suspended and two years to serve.

Comanche County Chronicle