A Parker County grand jury indicted Palastrena Jeanette Conklin, 54, of Springtown, on Aug. 22 after her grandchild drowned in a bathtub under her care.

Conklin has two charges she can be convicted of, injury to child/elderly/disabled recklessly causing serious bodily or mental injury, or criminal negligent homicide.

On May 3, Parker County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to a residence on Walnut Creek Drive in regards to a 9-month-old child left unattended in a bathtub. The child was taken to Harris Northwest Hospital in Azle, where deputies met with Conklin, according to the probable cause affidavit.

“[Conklin] advised that she placed the victim in a foam seat in the bath, fastened the waist belt and started the water. After starting the water, the defendant said she left the bathroom for five to seven minutes to check on her dogs and answer what she thought was a knock at the door,” according to affidavit. “When she returned, the defendant said that the victim was turned over in the chair, completely submerged in the water. After removing the victim from the chair, the defendant said the victim’s lips were blue and she was unresponsive.”

After investigating, deputies learned that the bathtub took approximately 16 minutes and 30 seconds to fill to the top with the chair inside, according to the affidavit.

“[Deputies] questioned the defendant about the time frame and the defendant stated that she did stop to watch television after she left the bathroom. [Conklin] stated that she watched a show called Betrayal for around 10 minutes on the Discovery ID channel, in addition to the five to seven minutes she was out checking on her dogs and the door,” according to the affidavit. “The defendant said that she thought she had turned off the water. The victim was transported from Harris Northwest to Cook Children’s Hospital with a poor prognosis for survival.”

According to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office, the child died at 8:19 a.m. on May 6 from complications of drowning.

“Ms. Conklin is charged in two counts with causing the death of her grandchild, either recklessly or with criminal negligence. If convicted of causing her death recklessly in the count that alleges injury to a child causing death, she will face a sentence of two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000,” Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain said. “If convicted of doing so with criminal negligence, her sentence for criminally negligent homicide would be from six months to two years in a state jail facility and up to a $10,000 fine.”

Under Texas law, a person acts recklessly when she is aware of, but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the defendant’s point of view.

A person acts with criminal negligence with respect to the result of her conduct when she ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur, under Texas law.

“Criminal negligence is a higher standard of proof than that of negligence, which is what is used in the typical car accident case,” Swain said.

Others indicted on Aug. 22 include:

• Cynthia Faye Blake, theft of property, more than $2,500, less than $30,000.

• Robert Don Burcham, aggravated sexual assault of a child.

• Christopher Lee Cooper, two counts of abandon/endangering child with imminent danger bodily injury.

• Shannon Della Farris, possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, less than 1 gram.

• Keith Thomas Freeman, two counts of injury to child/elderly/disabled reckless bodily injury.

• Tara Jae Gomas, theft of property, more than $2,500, less than $30,000, and possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, less than 1 gram.

• Leah Marie Griffin, abandoning/endangering a child with intent to return.

• Kelly Denise Hagle, manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, more than 4 grams, less than 200 grams.

• Joseph Farrell Hunt, continuous violence against the family, assault of family/household member by impeding breath or circulation.

• Adam Huri, possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, less than 1 gram.

• Steven Frederick Jones, two counts of burglary of a building; three counts of burglary of habitation; two counts of theft of material aluminum/bronze/copper/brass, less than $30,000; and theft of property, more than $30,000, less than $150,000.

• Summer DeLayne Kirkland, possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, less than 1 gram.

• Martin Lee Lindsay, possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, less than 1 gram.

• Jamieka Linscome, fraud use/possession of identifying information, less than 5 items.

• Curtis William Miles Johnson, possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, less than 1 gram.

• Terry DeWayne Moore, possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, less than 1 gram.

• Mason Jeremy Proffitt, credit or debit care abuse and fraud use/possession of identifying information, less than 5 items.

• Nathaneil Scott Rainey, tamper/fabricate physical evidence with intent to impair.

• Kristy Peacock Rubio, possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, less than 1 gram.

• Shannon Lenore Schneider, possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, less than 1 gram.

• Bryan Allen Sowards, possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, less than 1 gram.

• Pamela Jean Stanley, deadly conduct discharge firearm.

• Christopher Michael Stewart, injury to child/elderly/disabled reckless bodily injury.

• Tanya Irene Whittle, possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, more than 4 grams, less than 200 grams.

• Jonathan Dale Atwood, continuous violence against the family, assault of family/household member by impeding breath or circulation.

• Robert William Barley, possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, more than 1 gram, less than 4 grams.

• Gregory Ronald Boucher, possession of marijuana, more than 4 ounces, less than 5 pounds; and manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2, more than 4 grams, less than 400 grams.

• Donny Kyle Brown, tamper/fabricate physical evidence with intent to impair and possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, more than 4 grams, less than 200 grams.

• Travis Eli Davis, possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, more than 1 gram, less than 4 grams; and possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, less than 1 gram.

• Mason Reed Dommert, unlawful disclosure/promotion of intimate visual material.

• Lawannetta Michell Felts, forgery of a financial instrument, elderly.

• Nathaniel Kyle Furstonberg, two counts of manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, less than 1 gram; and manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, more than 4 grams, less than 200 grams.

• Lorilynn Kay Gable, possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, less than 1 gram.

• Daniel Gonzalez, evading arrest detention with vehicle.

• Jacob Regan Harvel, injury to child/elderly/disabled person with intent of bodily injury.

• Victor Hernandez, aggravated sexual assault of a child.

• Omar DeShawn Keith, possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, less than 1 gram.

• Randy Nix, theft of service, more than $2,500, less than $30,000.

• Austin Ben Raines, injury to child/disabled/elderly person with intent of bodily injury.

• Johnny Dean Reed, possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, more than 1 gram, less than 4 grams.

• Vysal Seng, tampering with a government record to defraud/harm, and fraud use/possession of identifying information, less than 5 items.

• Kevin Lee Slovik, driving while intoxicated, third or more.

• Bobby Chris Teague, forgery financial instrument.

• Elvira Torres, possession of marijuana, more than 4 ounces, less than 5 pounds, and manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2, more than 4 grams, less than 400 grams.

• Kyle Anthony Wilhite, indecency with a child by exposure, three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child sexual contact.

• Robert Bernard Williams, forgery of financial instrument. 

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