LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin man, who is a registered sex offender, avoided prison time Thursday by pleading guilty and accepting a 10-year probation sentence.
Jeremei Trevance Grimes, 25, pleaded guilty in District Judge Barry Bryan's courtroom to injury to a child.
Grimes was scheduled to go to trial Thursday but came to a plea agreement instead. A jury could have sentenced him to 10 years in prison.
According to an arrest affidavit, Belinda Teel and Lachyah Teel, the child's mother and grandmother, allowed Grimes to take care of the 15-month-old child for a few hours on January 6, even though they knew he is a registered sex offender. A few hours later, Grimes called the grandmother and told her the child was injured when he fell off a horse.
When the women saw the child again, they noticed injuries to the child's face and bruising from his neck to his pelvis.
The injuries became worse until January 9, when Grimes told the women he would take the child to see his aunt, who is a nurse. Grimes returned with the child and told the women his aunt said the child was fine and just needed Tylenol. The child had more injuries to his hands, which he did not have before Grimes had him the second time, according to the affidavit.
The grandmother then decided to take the child to the hospital, where he was admitted overnight. Doctors called Lufkin Police to the hospital who interviewed the suspects.
According to the affidavit, Grimes admitted to lying about the child falling off a horse and about taking him to his aunt, but would not admit to how the child was injured. He even walked out of the interview after further questioning.
The women were questioned about why they would allow a registered sex offender to take the child, when he had not dated the woman in more than a year, and they had already accused him of molesting the child's older sister.
Lachyah Teel and Belinda Teel have each waived their right to a jury. Belinda Teel is scheduled for a November 3 hearing, according to court records.