A Southeast San Diego woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to child endangerment in the death of her 2-year-old son, who died after suffering severe burns to his legs from scalding bathwater.
Creana Lewis, 24, could receive nine years in state prison and a $10,000 fine when she is sentenced Nov. 29.
San Diego Municipal Judge Robert McDonald dismissed another felony charge of inflicting corporal punishment upon her son, John.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Bonnie Howard said the boy’s burns did not cause his death and the coroner could not determine why he died. She said the burn pattern indicated that the child was partly immersed in the scalding bathwater.
“It is our belief the mother did hold the child in the hot water,” said Howard. “We have a child that suffered severe burns.”
But Lewis’ attorney, Kay Sunday, said her client did not put her child in scalding water.
“She didn’t purposely do anything wrong,” she said. “Mothers do occasionally leave children with the bathwater running.” Sunday said the boy could have climbed into the tub and turned on the hot water himself. She said the burns occurred up to his knee on one leg and only up to an ankle on the other. He died July 20. “We don’t know what caused the death. There’s something unknown here. I think its a very tragic situation,” said Sunday.
Lewis’ other two children are in their father’s custody.
Howard said she will be asking the judge to impose the maximum term at the sentencing. She said a murder charge was not filed against Lewis because the coroner couldn’t determine an exact cause of death.
Lewis remains in custody in the County Jail at Las Colinas in lieu of $50,000 bail.