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Craig woman pleads guilty in Christmas Eve death of 3-year-old

Vanessa Jenkins pleaded guilty in the death of her 3-year-old son who was killed in a fire on Christmas Eve last year.

CRAIG, Colo. — A Craig woman has pleaded guilty in the death of her 3-year-old son who was killed in a house fire on Christmas Eve last year, according to the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Vanessa Jenkins pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide, a class 5 felony, during a court appearance on Tuesday, the DA's office said. 

The charge stems from a house fire in Craig on Dec. 24, 2018 that killed 3-year-old Lane Cullen. Both law enforcement and the District Attorney’s office allege that Jenkins “negligently and unreasonable placed the child in a situation that resulted in his death."

Capt. Bill Leonard with the Craig Police Department said the cause of the fire was believed to be from a cigarette lighter that the boy was playing with. 

“Although the criminal process cannot bring Lane back to us, this plea offers a measure of justice for Lane and his family,” Assistant District Attorney Matthew Tjosvold said.

Jenkins is scheduled to be sentenced in Moffat County District Court on Feb. 10 at 1 p.m.

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