Lufkin woman gets probation in child's injuries at hands of sex offender

Belinda Teel mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Belinda Teel mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin woman pleaded guilty in a case involving her toddler grandson's injuries from a registered sex offender in a plea deal which allowed her to receive a lesser punishment.

The deal includes a two-year probation sentence for Belinda Teel, 44.

The state offered a 12.44b reduction, a Texas statute that allows authorities to give Teel a Class A misdemeanor punishment for a state jail felony.

Teel was arrested in January on a child endangerment charge after Teel and her daughter, Lachyah Teel, allowed Jeremei Grimes, a registered sex offender, to take Teel's 15-month-old grandson under his care for a few hours, 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 Jan. 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.

Grimes accepted a 10-year probation sentence last week. Lachyah Teel has waived her right to a jury.

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