Provo woman pleads no contest

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    By Andrew Damstedt

    A Provo woman entered a plea of no contest Wednesday to child physical abuse.

    Shelly Huynh, 35, stood silently by her attorney as 4th District Court Judge Claudia Laycock read the charges against her and the rights that she would be waiving by accepting the plea bargain.

    Huynh pled no contest to two class A misdemeanors of child physical abuse instead of going to trial with the seven felony charges with which she was originally charged.

    “It doesn”t really matter,” Utah County Deputy Attorney Marianne O”Bryant said, referring to her plea of no contest instead of not guilty. “She will serve the same amount of time.”

    Huynh pled no contest to the charges she left two of her sons in the care of her ex-husband, Chay Huynh, whom she knew to be physically abusive. Chay already pled guilty to child physical abuse.

    “I am glad it”s over,” Betty Bird, aunt of Shelly Huynh, said of the trial. “It”s been going on for a long time.”

    Laycock also sentenced Huynh Wednesday to serve one year in the Utah State Prison for each of the charges. The time that she will serve will run concurrently with the zero to five years that she is currently serving for another case, minus several days for time that she had already served in this case. She will not receive time for time spent after she failed to appear to court hearings and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

    “She just needed time,” Huynh”s attorney Richard Gale said. Huynh had previously rejected the prosecution”s plea bargain and had decided that she wanted to go to trial. Huynh gave up her right to go to trial and accepted the plea bargain from the state.

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