Charges against a Santa Ana mother arrested last year for shackling her 10-year-old son while she was at work have apparently been dropped.
It's not quite the outcome many would expect after the explosive charges were announced. An older sibling was at school and a younger one with a babysitter when the 10-year-old was seen by neighbors hopping around on one leg outside the apartment unit just before noon on a Thursday last July, Corporal Anthony Bertagna, the Santa Ana Police Department spokesman, said at the time.
When a neighborhood mom asked the boy what he was doing, he is said to have replied he was heading to a friend's house to be freed from his chains. He was later seen crying next to a tree, where a man had him wait as he went off to get bolt cutters. That's about when police arrived.
Navarro allegedly told officers she could not afford a babysitter for two children, but she was worried the 10-year-old would get into trouble were he not shackled while she was away, especially fearful of the gang activity in her neighborhood. She did leave him food and video games.
A felony count and a misdemeanor court of child abuse and endangerment were dropped against Navarro on Friday by prosecutors because she completed a court program that includes child-rearing classes and monitoring from social workers, her attorney Douglas Potratz told City News Service.
She is expected to return to court July 9 for a 60-day review, and it is expected that the case against her will be closed, said Potratz, who added his client "worked really hard and she took a positive approach to the counseling, and she benefited from the counseling for any future problems she may have with her children."
Investigators last year characterized her as a "good, caring mom."