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Woman expected to plead guilty after allegedly using cold showers to punish child

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IDAHO FALLS – A woman has been scheduled to change her plea in a child abuse case.

Ashlynn Richardson Bryner, 25, has accepted a plea agreement and will plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of injury to a child, rather than a felony charge.

The change of plea hearing is scheduled for Aug. 24 and will eliminate the need for a jury trial.

RELATED | Trial set for woman who allegedly used cold showers to punish child, which ended in hypothermia

Bryner was arrested in November 2021 by Idaho Falls Police after she allegedly forced a boy to take a cold shower as a punishment, until he went into hypothermia.

Court records say that she was angry with the boy because he had been wetting the bed.

EMS personnel who initially responded to the Idaho Falls home discovered that the child had a body temperature of 71.8 degrees, which is classified as “profound hypothermia”.

Idaho Falls police began investigating when medical staff at EIRMC suspected the boy had been abused. Police reports show hospital staff also found multiple bruises on the child’s forehead and shoulder and a swollen lip.

The boy has a long-term, terminal illness, which leaves him with limited verbal abilities, and he requires constant supervision as he struggles to walk without falling or eat without choking, according to court records.

RELATED | Police say woman used cold showers to punish boy who suffered hypothermia

When interviewed by police, Bryner originally denied the allegations, but eventually confessed that the child “fell multiple times while in the shower, and she did not check on him even after hearing the curtain rod and all of the soap containers come crashing down.”

Bryner also told police that she believed the boy would be “safer alone in the shower than he would have been if she was there because of how mad she was at him.”

Court records say that the boy struggled to get out of the cold shower for approximately 20 minutes, and “was then left collapsed on the floor of the shower with cold water continuing to run over him for at least 15 minutes” before Bryner took him out of the shower and called 911.

If Bryner pleads guilty to the misdemeanor, as is expected, she will be sentenced to supervised probation for a period of two years, according to the plea agreement.

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