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Charge against Riverton woman woman will be dismissed in duct tape incident

SHARE Charge against Riverton woman woman will be dismissed in duct tape incident

WEST JORDAN — A misdemeanor charge will be dismissed against a Riverton woman whose husband is accused of putting duct tape on the mouth of the woman's autistic son and roughly ripping it off to hurt the boy.

A one-day jury trial was canceled Wednesday for Holly Kathleen Kimball, who is charged with inflicting serious physical injury on a child, a class A misdemeanor. Instead, 3rd District Judge Mark Kouris is scheduled to officially dismiss the charge against Kimball on May 11.

"As the investigation went forward, there was not enough evidence to bring that case against her," said Mark Biljanic, spokesman for the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office.

Kraft praised prosecutor Matt Lloyd for asking the judge to end the case.

"To his credit, he has taken the time to look at all the details, review all the evidence and meet with all the witnesses," Kraft said. "He made us a very generous offer and if she had been guilty, we would have taken it."

However, Kraft said Holly Kimball is not guilty and was so upset at websites and Internet posts that characterized her as a bad mother that she did not want a plea deal.

"She's a good mom," Kraft said.

The 12-year-old child is from a previous marriage. The boy is autistic and uses a wheelchair.

Kimball, 35, was charged Aug 18, 2009, along with her husband, Steven Edward Kimball, 43, who is facing a separate charge of child abuse, a second-degree felony. Holly Kimball filed for divorce Jan. 7, but it is not final yet.

Steven Kimball's case is still pending before 3rd District Judge Robert Adkins and Kimball has a roll call hearing set for June 1.

The judge in that case plans to issue a ruling on another matter on June 14 after Kimball's attorney, Susanne Gustin, objected to the costs charged by the district attorney's office for discovery materials, which are the facts, witness statements and other items that will be used in the prosecution's case.

Police said Holly Kimball had taken two daughters she has with Steven Kimball to a soccer practice while Steven Kimball watched the boy. The man apparently became upset with the boy's constant "chattering," stuck duct tape on the boy's mouth and then tore it off, according to police.

Steven Kimball told deputies "he wanted it to hurt when he pulled it off," according to a jail report. Tape residue remained on the boy's face so Kimball allegedly "used a rag to 'briskly' rub … to remove it," the jail report said. "Steven said he wanted the rubbing to be uncomfortable."

The boy had a half-dollar size abrasion on his left cheek and a smaller one on his left ear, his right cheek was discolored and swollen and there were scratches on his scalp, according to jail records.

Police were called after the boy's stepmother came to get him and bring to his biological father's home.

Kraft said he spoke with Holly Kimball Wednesday and she reported that the boy is doing "very well."

"He remembers the incident, but he doesn't hold any grudges," Kraft said.

e-mail: lindat@desnews.com