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Crime Trackers: Trial of mother accused of child abuse goes to the jury

TUCSON – A Pima County jury began deliberating the fate of 28-year-old Samantha Osteraas today.

She’s charged with two counts of child abuse.

Two years ago, she was accused of causing third-degree burns to her 5-year-old adopted daughter by leaving her in a scalding hot bathtub.

Over 75 percent of her body was burned as a result.

This was the seventh day of the trial.

The defense rested its case earlier this afternoon, and closing arguments were heard.

The prosecutor Alan Goodwin told the jurors this was no accident, this was child abuse.

He mentioned with all the CPR training Osteraas had why didn’t she call 9-1-1 immediately.  Instead, she made 17 calls to other people, including her husband, before she called 9-1-1.

The defense disagreed, and Jeff Rogers told the jurors this was an accident.

His client was a good mother who loved her adopted daughter and treated her like she did her three other biological children.

The victim, now 7 years old, testified in court that she couldn’t get out of the bathtub because her mom held her there.

The mother denied that and said she immediately got her out of the tub when she saw her burned skin and how it was just peeling off of her daughter.

She said she was in shock.

Jurors will continue their deliberations Friday at 9:30 a.m.

Caitlin Alexander

Caitlin Alexander

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