SALEM – A woman seeking custody of her 6-year-old granddaughter, sent to live with her convicted felon father in Mexico, has a criminal record that could impact the case, according to the Salem Statesman Journal.
The Oregon Department of Human Services continues to review the case as the girl remains in state custody. The girl’s grandmother, Kerrie Lechuga, was convicted in 2005 of animal neglect and reports from the time indicate 64 animals were seized from her property, the Statesman Journal reports.
Five chickens, two goats and two calves were found dead on the property. Lechuga was never taken into custody. She eventually served 30 days in jail after charges were reduced to two misdemeanors.
Lechuga has been fighting for custody of her granddaughter, whom KGW has not identified because of her age, after the state determined the child should be reunited with her estranged father who served time in Oregon before getting deported to Mexico.
DHS took the girl from her mother, Gloria Segura, after she was declared an unfit parent because she was reportedly using methamphetamine.
The state did not say whether Lechuga’s criminal record had any impact on the custody decision.
The case captured the attention of Gov. John Kitzhaber as well as several Oregon lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.