Jennifer Anne Arndt, of Denison, entered a guilty plea to a charge of first degree felony injury to a child in the 15th District Court Friday.
A written statement from the Grayson County District Attorney’s Office, said the plea agreement reached with Arndt, 35, and her attorney Richard Dunn will see her waive her trial and all appeals. In exchange, the District Attorney’s Office has agreed not to seek a punishment in excess of 50 years in prison. It also dismissed the charge of abandon or endanger a child imminent danger of bodily injury. A sentencing hearing is set for June 7 in the 15th state District Court.
Previously published reports show the case against Arndt and her husband, John Howard Arndt, began back on Oct. 12, when Denison Police received a call from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services regarding a 12-year-old boy who was brought to Texoma Medical Center with significant injuries and malnutrition. The family lived in the 1300 block of West Woodard Street.
The child was treated locally, but transported to Children’s Medical Center Dallas, where he was pronounced dead on Oct. 17.
John Arndt is set for a plea conference on the charges he faces on April 25. He is represented by Sherman attorney Joe Smith.
The couple was indicted on two charges each of injury to a child and faced up to life in prison if convicted. The indictments in the case allege that the couple intentionally by act or omission caused serious bodily injury or serious mental impairment to their son by not providing him with adequate nutrition for his age or by failing to allow him enough caloric intake for his body. It also alleges that he was hit causing blunt force trauma.
The indictment notes that the parents had a statutory or legal duty to provide the child with care and protection including providing him with food, clothing, shelter and medical care. It further alleges that they failed to provide the child with emergency medical care or by failing to consistently provide him with prescribed medications. It also alleges that they left the child in a place under circumstances that exposed him to an unreasonable risk of harm and under circumstances that a reasonable person would believe would place the child in imminent danger of death, bodily injury or physical or mental impairment by leaving the child at a house unattended while he was in need of medical attention.
Dunn did not return a call seeking comment on the plea Friday.