Kathleen Davies made her initial court appearance on Wednesday to face preliminary charges of felony child abuse after a school administrator became suspicious of bruises on a student last month.
The elementary school official reported a child showed up in class with injuries consistent with excessive discipline or abuse.
Davies, the mother of three, was released on her own recognizance following her appearance on Wednesday. The alleged victim was not her child.
Davies has been charged with felony child abuse and neglect resulting in substantial bodily or mental harm.
When addressing Pahrump Justice Court Judge Ron Kent during the hearing, Davies made a surprising statement that took many in the courtroom by surprise.
“I have been in jail since last week and all I can say is thank you for putting me in jail because you know what? I needed to go to jail,” she said.
Defense attorney Jason Earnest told Kent he could properly represent Davies if she was out of custody, while noting his client is not a flight risk, noting the Department of Child and Family Services are also monitoring the case.
“These kinds of cases are difficult to prepare for and if she is released I can waive a speedy preliminary hearing and have more opportunity to review the discovery and meet with my client,” he said.
Prosecutor Christi Kindel said the state would not dispute Davies’ release, with conditions.
“Your honor, given the lack of criminal history and the ties to the community, we would not necessarily be opposed to an OR release under the condition there would be no contact with a minor child.”
Earnest noted the alleged victim was not related to Davies, but his client does have three children of her own.
“The alleged victim child is not in the house,” Earnest said.
Kent entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Davies and laid out the conditions of her OR release, which includes no use of illegal narcotics, and no negative contact with the criminal justice system.
Davies is scheduled to return to court for a Jan. 7 preliminary hearing.