Dale couple pleads guilty to burning young child with cigarette

By Ken Curtis

Published 08/07 2014 04:11PM

Updated 08/08 2014 09:46PM

A Newton couple accused of burning a young child with a cigarette pleaded guilty Thursday after being given Youthful Offender status during a court hearing. Andrew Dylan Chandler and Bridget Marie Chandler were sentenced to three years probation.

The duo was charged last September with Aggravated Child Abuse in connection with the alleged burning a four year old relative left in their care. The Chandlers pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of Child Abuse.

Before entering the plea the couple was given Youthful Offender status though court records, as of late Thursday, remained in public view. Youthful Offender status, at the sole discretion of the judge, can be given to those who are under 21 at the time a crime is committed.

Dale County District Attorney Kirke Adams declined comment noting that Youthful Offender status forbids him from discussing the case. However, court records suggest there could have been potential issues with the victim’s testimony.

At the time of the arrests Dale County Sheriff’s Office Captain Mason Bynum called it the worst case of child abuse he’s ever seen according to a previous DothanFirst.com article.

The Chandler’s also sought to get custody of a child recently born to the couple. The baby was taken from their care last month because bonds of connected to their arrests forbade them having contact with a child under the age of 13. With the guilty pleas the bond restrictions are no longer in place though it’s not immediately known if their child will be returned.

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