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Kingsport woman pleads guilty to facilitation of aggravated child abuse and neglect

Kacie Dingus Breeding • Jun 20, 2008 at 12:00 AM

A Kingsport woman is expected to spend a decade of her life in prison after pleading guilty in Sullivan County Circuit Court to facilitation of aggravated child abuse and neglect.

Amanda Jo Ramey, whose last known address is 1013 E. Sullivan St., entered a guilty plea Tuesday to one count each of facilitation of aggravated child abuse and facilitation of aggravated child neglect, charges that carry potential 15- to 60-year prison terms.

Circuit Judge Jerry Beck sentenced Ramey to serve two 10-year prison terms concurrently with no probation and assigned $2,000 in fines.

Ramey’s guilty plea came shortly after the judge refused to allow statements she’d made on Aug. 14, 2006, and Aug. 18, 2006, to be suppressed for trial.

In her Aug. 14 statement to former Kingsport Police Department Detective Penny Makowski, Ramey said she would never hurt the 2-year-old son of her fiance, Alan Unfo Minto. Ramey said Minto might have abused the boy.

Ramey and Minto were charged after emergency room doctors found the toddler had suffered multiple bruises all over his body and a 2-inch spiral fracture of his left humerus bone during an Aug. 14, 2006, examination.

Minto was found innocent of aggravated child abuse and neglect shortly before Ramey’s case began making its way through the courts.

“Alan makes me leave the room when he spanks (him),” Ramey first told police, adding that she’d seen him “jerk the boy up by the arm” and heard the boy cry when Minto was in his room.

Ramey also told police Minto had hit her before, then abruptly clammed up.

“I’m afraid to talk anymore,” she told police.

Then on Aug. 18, Ramey filed a second statement, telling police it was she who had “hit (the child) in the face with my open hand” but swore she “didn’t mean to hit him that hard.”

Shortly after she said she hit the child, Ramey told police she awoke from a nap to the child’s screams and found he’d fallen over the baby gate. That’s when she said she noticed the facial bruising.

“I wanted to believe that it was the gate that caused the bruises,” Ramey said, adding that she called Minto at work and gave him that explanation.

Later, Ramey said she heard “a pop” after she “jerked him up by his left arm” and the boy started crying.

During the investigation, Ramey told police the boy often bumped into things and banged his head on the floor during tantrums.

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