Woman pleads guilty to 7 counts of child abuse

Woman pleads guilty to 7 counts of child abuse

CLOVIS, N.M. (KFDA) - An area woman has accepted a plea deal on seven counts on child abuse, one for each of her adopted children.

Patricia Gartner, of Clovis, New Mexico, was given a deferred sentence with five years of supervised probation Monday. Her seven children, each of whom were adopted from Russia, Siberia, and Ukraine between 2002 and 2009, are all pending adoption with a new family.

Gartner, 60, was facing up to 29 years of prison before accepting the plea deal.

The charges stem from a 2015 investigation by the Clovis Police Department into the treatment of the children. Police said they were made aware after one of the children told a member of the church that abuse was taking place inside the house.

The District Attorney's Office said the plea deal was written after interviewing each of the children privately.

"These are amazing children," Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Stover said. "After all they went through, they still consider her to be their mother, and they asked me to show her mercy."

Gartner's attorney, Michael Garrett, told the court his client took on more than she could manage with the children. Garrett said Gartner knew she had violated the law and was apologetic.

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