The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 14, 2013

Enid woman has bond set at $50,000 on child abuse charge

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — A 35-year-old Enid woman is being held in lieu of $50,000 bond after being charged with child abuse.

Ermina Mina Cline, also known as Ermina Mera, was arraigned Thursday on a single count of felony child abuse. Because of a prior felony conviction, Cline faces two years to life in prison on the charge.

She appeared Thursday morning for arraignment via video from Garfield County Detention Facility before Special District Judge Brian Lovell.

Toward the end of her arraignment, Cline asked the judge if her bond could be lowered.

“No, it can’t,” Lovell said. “Not right now.”

Cline, who participates in Garfield County’s Drug Court program, was given a return date of March 11. Applications for previous charges likely will be filed when she is terminated from the program.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, Cline is accused of hitting a 14-year-old autistic boy sometime Feb. 10.

Enid Police Department was contacted Feb. 11 about the abuse by the boy’s school, after he told administrators his mother had beat him.

Detective John Robinson noted in an affidavit the boy had a “large, very noticeable bruise on the left side of his face.” Robinson wrote he was told the boy functions normally, but has autistic tendencies and acts out from time to time.

Robinson spoke with the boy, who was able to have a normal conversation with him. He noted the boy seemed to understand and comprehend him and answered appropriately, according to the affidavit.

The boy told Robinson his mother had gotten drunk and hit him and beat him up, according to the affidavit. The boy had bruises on the triceps area of his left arm. The bruise is described as “circular and very large” in the affidavit. The boy also had a “very large” bruise in the lower right side of his back.

Robinson spoke with Cline about the boy’s bruises.

She told Robinson she and her son stayed at a motel the night before and no one else was there.

She said her son got upset when she would not let him go with his father so he got mad and started hitting himself, according to the affidavit. She said she did not try to hold him down, and when he gets like this she just lets him go because he swings his fists, according to the affidavit. Robinson asked Cline if she ever spanks her son and she said he never spanks him.

The detective told Cline he had been to her son’s school and saw the bruising and explained it was in areas where it would be difficult for it to be self-inflicted, according to the affidavit. Cline said it might have happened when she tried to hold her son down, but Robinson pointed out she just told him she never held him down, according to the affidavit.

Robinson asked if the bruises could have happened when she tried to spank the boy, and she said it was possible, and Robinson again pointed out that conflicted with her previous statement, according to the affidavit.

Robinson told Cline the boy said she got drunk and hit him. She said he says things like that all the time.

Cline was placed under arrest and booked into jail without incident.