An attorney for a suburban Chicago woman accused in a Lawrence child abuse case after her children were found bound and blindfolded implicated her client’s husband on Thursday as the culprit in the case.
Deborah and Adolfo Gomez both face charges in the case after they were arrested at a west Lawrence Walmart last week.
“We submit the evidence in the case will show that Ms. Gomez is just as much a victim in this case as her children,” defense attorney Angela Keck said as she asked for a bond reduction for her client from $50,000 to $15,000.
Keck also said Deborah Gomez had no knowledge and did not participate in the mistreatment of her two children, ages 5 and 7, who were bound by their hands and feet near the family’s vehicle. Police arrested Deborah Gomez inside the store and Adolfo Gomez in the parking lot, where he was with the children.
“She did everything she could to protect her children,” Keck said. “He appeared to be in a complete break with reality.”
Assistant District Attorney James McCabria said prosecutors did not agree with Keck’s bond request.
District Judge Paula Martin declined to reduce her bond Thursday until she hears evidence at a preliminary hearing at a later date.
Adolfo and Deborah Gomez are charged with two counts of child abuse each after the two children were found with their hands and feet bound. They also face five charges each of aggravated child endangerment against the two children found bound and their three older children who were in the vehicle, ages 12, 13 and 15. Adolfo Gomez also faces a count of felony obstruction because he’s accused of resisting officers, who used a Taser to apprehend him.
Police said the family was traveling from Illinois to Arizona when their Chevrolet Suburban broke down on Interstate 70. They had been in the Walmart parking lot for two days before the incident with police.
Police have said extended family members who saw nationwide media coverage of the event have contacted them about the children, who have been taken into protective custody.
Adolfo Gomez is undergoing a mental health evaluation because at a hearing next Tuesday Martin will decide whether he is competent to represent himself in the case after he made the request earlier this week. The couple are also due again in court next Thursday.
Martin on Thursday also ordered McCabria to tell law enforcement to preserve the vehicle as evidence after Keck said it had been placed at a tow lot and was preparing to be sold.