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Mother of infant at center of Gillette child abuse trial pleads no contest to child endangerment

Campbell County Courthouse (County17.com)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Keasha Bullinger will receive three years’ unsupervised probation and must attend child care classes after she pled no contest Monday to one charge of child endangerment.

A jury found the infant’s father, Tyler Bryan Martinson, guilty of felony aggravated child abuse on May 10. Martinson was found guilty of breaking five ribs and fracturing one of the baby’s legs, Campbell County Attorney Mitch Damsky said. Martinson could face up to 150 years in prison and $60,000 in fines. He is scheduled for sentencing July 25.

Bullinger was originally charged with accessory after-the-fact aggravated child abuse and several counts of child endangerment. Those charges have been dismissed.

The charge not dismissed related to leaving her son in the care of “someone she knew or reasonably should have known was causing physical injuries (broken bones) to [the infant],” according to court documents.

Bullinger’s attorney, Just Criminal Law Associate Attorney Joshua Taylor, told Sixth Judicial District Circuit Court Judge Wendy Bartlett that while Bullinger should have acted sooner, she had always been proactive with doctor appointments, and that Martinson’s actions were reckless but unintentional. The infant has been under Bullinger’s care for the last year without other incidents, Taylor said.

Bartlett also ordered Bullinger to take child care classes within six months and to pay $350 to the Wyoming Crime Victim Compensation Program and $70 in court costs. She must report to court every six months. If she does not, there will be a warrant for her arrest.

Responding to questions from Bartlett, Bullinger said she has not taken any parenting classes in the past year. Martinson is providing child support and is allowed video calls with the infant. No custody or visitation order is in place, Bullinger said.

She said she did not want the case to go to trial because she did not want to again risk losing her son.

Bartlett said the plea agreement is favorable for Bullinger, who has no criminal history and did obtain medical treatment for the infant.

County Attorney Mitchell Damsky said after the hearing that he didn’t like the plea agreement, but Bullinger was instrumental in the case against Martinson.

“We couldn’t have prosecuted the case without her assistance in providing us with a signed, HIPAA-compliant medical agreement,” he said.

The state accepted a counteroffer of a no contest plea to one count of child endangerment around Jan. 1, 2021, in exchange for a one-year deferred sentence of unsupervised probation if Bullinger provided a HIPAA waiver, according to an Oct. 25, 2021, email County Attorney Greg Steward sent Just Criminal Law Associate Attorney Joshua Taylor that Damsky provided County 17 after the hearing.

Taylor said in a November 2021 court document that the parties had agreed and Bullinger wanted to change her plea after Martinson’s trial.

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