RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Raleigh mother will not go to prison after pleading guilty Friday morning to abusing her 4-month-old son.
Mary Peele was sentenced to 3 years of probation after accepting a plea deal.
Nearly three years after Peele was charged with abusing her son, Micah, she sat in a courtroom and accepted responsibility for her actions.
Prosecutors say Peele’s son suffered more than dozen injuries at the time – including fractured bones.
Police say she intentionally broke 12 of the boy’s ribs and there was a potential bite mark on the baby’s shoulder.
“These injuries were serious and they were significant,” said Melanie Shakita, Wake County assistant district attorney.
The case was scheduled to go to trial on Monday and Peele could have faced 10 to12 years in prison if a jury found her guilty.
“I hope that someday Micah will know that his mother made a mistake and wants to accept it rather than visiting her in prison or meeting her for the first time when he’s 16. So I hope I made the right decision,” Shakita said.
Up until Friday, Peele has denied ever hurting her son.
She said her son’s injuries were caused by a bone disorder and even went on the “Dr. Phil Show” to try to prove her innocence in an effort to get back custody of her son.
“This case is a tragedy. There are no words for it. This outcome is the best and surest way for her to find her way to a relationship with her son,” said Peele’s attorney William Simpson.
Micah, now 3 years old, is currently in the custody of his paternal grandmother.
Peele was initially charged with felony child abuse but as part of plea deal, that charge has been dropped.