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Collins takes plea deal in Sylar Newton case
5/10/2012 9:56:00 PM
By Scott Orr
CAMP VERDE - Hot on the heels of a plea agreement accepted by her co-defendant, Nancy Collins has also taken a plea for her role in the disappearance and death of 2-year-old Sylar Newton in 2010.
Collins, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse per domestic violence.
Christina Priem, 37, of Flagstaff - Collins' daughter and Sylar's custodial mother - last week pleaded guilty to two counts of child abuse in the case, avoiding several related drug charges.
Sylar's remains were found in a wash less than 2 miles from the Beaver Creek Campgrounds on Aug. 10, 2010, after he was reported missing July 25, 2010.
Collins went with Priem, Priem's two children and Sylar to the Beaver Creek Campground on July 23. Priem said she last saw Sylar at 12:30 a.m. July 25 in a tent with the family, and discovered him missing at 1:45 a.m.
A family member called the Sedona Fire Department about 15 minutes later, but the call did not make it to the sheriff's communications center. The campground host called the Sheriff's Office at 2:30 a.m., and deputies arrived about 30 minutes later. A massive search began to find Sylar, who went missing wearing only a diaper.
Witnesses at the campground told detectives Sylar appeared as if he was under the influence of a narcotic or medication, Yavapai County Sheriff's spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said.
Campers staying near where Sylar disappeared told deputies they saw Priem or Collins verbally abuse and push him to the ground the evening before he went missing, according to a search warrant. Campers also told deputies they heard him crying between 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., but nothing after that.
Collins faces up to 3.75 years in prison on the child abuse charge, a class 4 felony. She could also be sentenced to lifetime probation.
Priem could be sentenced to as long as 32.5 years in prison, followed by lifetime probation. She will be sentenced on June 4.
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