DA: Mother in abuse video faces harsher penalty

Posted at 4:50 PM, May 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-27 19:01:50-04

The Colorado mother accused of abusing her child in a video that went viral is now facing a more serious charge.

Katrina Kennedy-Flores, 27, appeared in court Friday, where one of the charges she is facing was reclassified.. 

"She was previously charged with two counts of child abuse, a class 2 misdemeanor, however one of the charges was increased to child abuse causing injury, a class 1 misdemeanor," Kimberly Corban with the Weld County District Attorney's Office told Denver7 on Friday.

The penalty for that reclassified charge is six to 18 months behind bars.

Kennedy-Flores was arrested on Wednesday, May 18, after the disturbing video was posted on Facebook and YouTube, igniting public outrage.

She is being held in Weld County Jail on two counts of child abuse.

While the alleged abuse was videotaped at the home of an acquaintance in Lochbuie, where Kennedy-Flores and her young son were staying, an arrest affidavit states that police arrested Kennedy-Flores at a southwest Denver apartment complex.   

The toddler was taken into protective custody, Lochbuie police stated on Twitter. The boy's father told Denver7 the child is 2 years old.

In court Friday, Kennedy-Flores was in a wheelchair and her hands appeared to be bound together, according to Denver7 photojournalist Jim Weiss, who was in the courtroom.

In a previous hearing, the court-appointed public defender stated that Kennedy-Flores is on permanent disability. The defense attorney said Kennedy-Flores suffers from scoliosis and cerebral palsy and typically walks with a cane.

In court Friday, one of the attorneys said they needed more time for discovery.

Kennedy-Flores' next hearing is schedule for June 24 at 2 p.m.

During a previous hearing, prosecutors described the video as "horrifying" and told Judge Dana Nichols that Kennedy-Flores berated the boy and used language that a prosecutor was not comfortable repeating in court.

Judge Nichols barred Kennedy-Flores from having any contact with the victim, the witnesses and anyone under 18. Nichols set the bond for Kennedy-Flores at $3,000.

Nichols said she considered the video evidence in her ruling, as well as photos of the child that revealed bruises on his body.

MORE | Mom arrested, toddler is in protective custody after video showing alleged abuse goes viral online


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