LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin woman who exposed her then-1-year-old son to meth agreed to a reduced charge, a Class A misdemeanor charge of deadly conduct, Monday. Marci Nicole Berry, 20, was originally charged with felony child endangerment.
Berry appeared in Judge Paul White's 159th Judicial District Court. She was originally scheduled to have a non-jury trial, but she reached the plea agreement prior to the trial.
As part of the agreement, Berry will have two years of probation. She must undergo substance abuse treatments, and she cannot have any contact with her former boyfriend, Randy Tullos Jr., according to prosecutor Katrina Carswell. Tullos was arrested at the same time as Berry, and he was also charged with child endangerment.
In addition, Berry must follow all of the rules and guidelines handed down from Child Protective Services.
Carswell said issues about proof of Berry's responsibility in the case and a pending custody termination case with the CPS factored into the Angelina County District Attorney's Office agreeing to the reduced charge.
"Given the fact that the child lived in the residence with the parents, they were in custody of the child at the time, and are responsible for the child's health and well being, Randy Tullos Jr., of Lufkin, and Marci Berry recklessly placed the child under the age of 15 in imminent danger, bodily injury, or physical mental impairment," the arrest affidavit stated.
Berry and Tullos were taken to the Angelina County Jail and charged with third-degree felony charge of abandon/endanger child/criminal negligence. Tullos was also charged with a motion to adjudicate guilt for a manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance conviction dating back to November 2006. No bond has been set for either of the suspects.
The couple's son received a hair test on Sept. 19 at Texas Alcohol and Drug Test Services, and a case worker with Child Protective Services contacted Matthews to inform him that the boy's hair tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine.