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Woman pleads guilty for allowing child to fly out of car

WILLMAR -- Elaine Martha Velasquez, 22, of Willmar, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal vehicular operation for the highly-publicized incident in which her one-month old child flew out of her vehicle in an unbuckled child seat.

The child suffered a scratch to his forehead and was not seriously injured in the May 6 incident, but in entering the guilty plea on Tuesday Velasquez acknowledged that she was negligent in her actions and that the child had suffered an injury.

She pleaded guilty to count three, criminal vehicular homicide with alcohol under terms of an agreement reached moments before she appeared in court for a bail hearing. The state dismissed two other counts of criminal vehicular homicide; one count of child endangerment; and four traffic offenses ranging from driving under the influence to driving after suspension.

She could receive a maximum sentence of one year in jail and or a $3,000 fine for the gross misdemeanor conviction.

District Judge Michael Thompson ordered a pre-sentence investigation. Sentencing is scheduled for July 7.

The judge allowed Velasquez to be released on her own recognizance provided she abstain from alcohol and follow other conditions. She had been held since her arrest on May 6.

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