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Woman receives 5 years probation after pleading guilty to felony child abuse

Caldwell Police and a caseworker from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare also found the children living in unsanitary conditions and malnourished.
Credit: Caldwell Police
Zackurer McMurrian Jr. and Suzanne McMurrian

CALDWELL, Idaho — A Caldwell woman received five years probation Dec. 30 after pleading guilty to felony injury to a child in October.

Suzanne Michelle McQueen — whose last name also is listed as McMurrian in court records and past Idaho Press reports — was accused of abusing and neglecting her three children, following a five-month investigation by Caldwell police.

At last month’s hearing, McQueen was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with two years fixed and eight years indeterminate. But this sentence was suspended in favor of probation, 100 hours of community service, and 90 days discretionary jail time if she violates her parole.

Canyon County spokesman Joe Decker said prosecutors argued for a rider rather than probation because of her prior felony injury to child conviction from 2016.

McQueen and the children’s father, Zackurer McMurrian Jr., were arrested in August 2018 after reports that their three children were found with bruises, burns and other injuries, according to a previous Idaho Press report.

Caldwell Police and a caseworker from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare also found the children — two boys ages 3 and 4 and a 1-year-old girl — living in unsanitary conditions and malnourished. Court records reveal the three were staying with foster parents for two years but had been in the custody of McQueen in February 2018.

A probable cause affidavit states one of the children, 14 months old at the time, had an infected diaper rash and impetigo, a skin infection that causes raised red sores. The baby weighed only 15 pounds.

Another child was found with a burn to his penis, according to the affidavit. A doctor who evaluated the children said it appeared to be intentional.

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Police said no explanation was given for the children’s injuries. The pair wasn’t officially charged until February 2019.

Initially, McQueen faced five counts of injury to a child — four felonies and one misdemeanor — according to the Idaho online courts repository. All but one felony was dismissed as part of a plea agreement, which she took Oct. 25.

In 2016, McQueen was convicted of felony injury to a child, but had been given a withheld judgement. This meant the charge wouldn’t appear on her record if she successfully met the terms of her parole. She was set to be on probation until 2020.

McMurrian also accepted a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of compounding a crime, court records state. Decker said McMurrian had been willing to testify against McQueen if the case went to trial and be re-interviewed by Caldwell police detectives.

McMurrian was sentenced to 141 days in jail — 130 of which were suspended — with credit for the 11 days he already served. He received one year unsupervised probation, as well.

Olivia Heersink is the Canyon County public safety reporter for the Idaho Press. You can reach her at oheersink@idahopress.com. Follow her on Twitter @heersinkolivia.

More from our partners at the Idaho Press: After months of investigation, parents arrested, charged with child abuse

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