WATERVILLE — A Wenatchee woman sentenced to a year in jail in connection to the death of her 2-year-old son will remain free because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Elaine A. Hurd appeared Monday in court to address the remainder of her sentence.
Rustin Atkerson died in 2017 of head trauma while in the custody of Hurd. Medical experts said Rustin likely would have survived the injuries if he’d received prompt treatment.
Hurd served 17 days in jail after pleading guilty in Douglas County Superior Court to second-degree criminal mistreatment, a Class C felony. Judge Brian Huber in June 2019 sentenced Hurd to a year in jail — the maximum allowed and double the term recommended by the prosecutor’s office and Hurd’s defense attorney.
Hurd reported to the Okanogan County Jail on June 21 and was released July 8 due to complications with her pregnancy. She was placed on electronic home monitoring until March and has since been out of custody.
The matter of arranging a date for Hurd to return to jail has been postponed by COVID-19 restrictions placed upon courts throughout the state.
On Monday, Hurd returned to superior court via Zoom to determine when she’ll complete the remainder of her sentence. The Okanogan County Jail isn’t accepting non-mandatory bookings until mid-July due to COVID-19 restrictions.
To give the jail a few weeks of buffer time, Huber ordered Hurd to next appear in court Aug. 24 when they’ll set a date for her to return to jail. She will be given credit for her earlier stint of 17 days at the jail and serve 126 days.
Hurd’s boyfriend at the time of the incident, Steven Rowe, was arrested shortly after Rustin suffered the injury, but was released and not charged with a crime.
Rustin’s father, Ian Atkerson, recently sued the state Department of Children, Youth and Families, which oversees Child Protective Services, for not taking action he believes could’ve prevented the boy’s death.