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Mom gets four years for breaking girl's legs

Published: Thu, September 7, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.

The judge said the defendant's story insulted his intelligence.

YOUNGSTOWN -- A 23-year-old West Auburndale Avenue woman is headed to prison for four years after pleading guilty to child endangering.

Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court imposed the sentence Wednesday on Leola Pugh after it was recommended by Dawn Krueger, an assistant county prosecutor.

Pugh was accused of deliberately breaking her 3-month-old daughter's legs in her residence March 30, 2005. Pugh apologized to the judge, and said the injuries occurred when she accidentally rolled over her daughter in bed.

But the judge replied: "Maybe I should apologize because I can't believe that. That's an insult to my intelligence."

A treating physician concluded Pugh's version of events is not credible, Krueger said. The thigh bones were both broken, but in opposite directions and at different angles, Krueger explained. The child is now in foster care.

Defense argument

Pugh's lawyer, Thomas Zena, said his client was under the influence of marijuana when the injuries occurred and was remorseful. He asked the judge for the minimum sentence of two years.

Pugh will get the legally required credit for the 217 days she already has been jailed, Judge Krichbaum said, adding that she'll be on parole for up to three years after she leaves prison.

"I certainly hope that you suffer every day, every breath you take for the rest of your life, for what you did to this child," Judge Krichbaum told Pugh.


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