A Valley View woman was recently sentenced to 20 years in Grayson County this week for injury to a child causing serious bodily injury. Trudy Ater, 33, pleaded guilty on February 6 in exchange for a sentencing range of not more than 30 years as part of a plea agreement with the Grayson County Criminal District Attorney’s Office.

Ater was sentenced Thursday to 20 years by Judge Jim Fallon of the 15th District Court. Ater will be required to serve at least half of her sentence, or one decade, before being considered for parole.

On June 6, 2018, Grayson County Deputies were dispatched to TMC where Ater’s seven-year-old child was being treated for severe head trauma cause by an alleged bike accident the day prior. At the hospital, deputies located a neighbor who had transported the child to the hospital after being informed of his condition by Ater’s other children. Evidence presented at sentencing confirmed that medical staff was advised that Ater did not want to take her son to the hospital even though she was aware of his injuries. An investigator with the District Attorney’s Office subsequently located and interviewed a material witness who revealed that when she found the child his condition was grave. The child was unable to speak, had been throwing up, and was unable to open either of his eyes due to severe swelling. Ultimately, the child was transported to Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and admitted for various skull fractures, a prolonged concussion, and complications with a prior arm injury.

Evidence presented by the state during sentencing today indicated Ater knew she should have taken the child back to the doctor for his prior arm injury, but neglected to do so. She also admitted to using methamphetamine around all of her children before and after both injuries took place. Ater then ignored court orders to participate with Child Protective Services programs designed to help her with addiction and parenting skills.

“To this defendant, methamphetamine was more important than her children and being a parent. Anyone that allows their own child to suffer needlessly and potentially endure life-altering brain trauma, when all they have to do is call 911, deserves prison,” said Assistant District Attorney Nathan Young. District Attorney Brett Smith added, “To anyone who states methamphetamine and drug addiction are victimless crimes, I would tell them to wake up and walk a mile in our shoes.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Nathan Young. DA Investigator Mike Ditto assisted in the prosecution.

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