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Child abuse charge reduced to ‘contributing’

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

 

A felony child abuse charge against a Marion man was reduced Thursday to misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Pulaski County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Naomi Huntington said the felony charge stemmed from the fact Jeremiah Benjamin Barrera’s child was in the backseat of his car when police arrested him last October. He was charged with first offense intoxicated driving (DUI), possession of marijuana and purchasing alcohol for an unauthorized person.

According to court records, Barrera was convicted of the DUI, but the other charges were not prosecuted. On the DUI, he received a 30-day suspended jail sentence, his driver’s license was suspended for 12 months, he was ordered to pay $1,050 in fines and court costs, and he must complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP).

Thursday, Barrera pleaded no contest to the reduced charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, meaning he wasn’t admitting guilt, but he didn’t contest the Commonwealth’s evidence was sufficient to find him guilty.  He was ordered to serve one month of a 12-month sentence and will be placed on 12 months probation upon release from jail.

Barrera is being allowed to report to New River Valley Regional Jail by 7 p.m. July 26 to serve his sentence.

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