Woman pleads guilty to theft of Christmas gift cards for foster kids

Chelle Delaney

One of two Quay County women charged in the theft of Christmas card gift certificates for children in foster care pleaded guilty, told the court she sorry and was sentenced at an arraignment Monday.

The other woman, her mother, pleaded not guilty.

The case goes back to Christmas eve, when Jennifer Dominguez, 24, and Bernadine Gutierrez, 46 were arrested by the Tucumcari and state police for the Dec. 9 theft of 11 gift cards for foster children at the state’s Children, Youth and Families Department offices in Tucumcari. The cards, worth $25 each, were donated by a local church to the CYFD program’s foster kids.

Dominguez was charged with larceny and tampering with evidence and Gutierrez with charged with accessory to tampering with evidence. Dominguez is the daughter of Gutierrez, who works at the state’s Aging and Long Term Care Agency, which shares office space with CYFD.

According to the police report, Dominguez was at the shared offices helping wrap gift packages for foster children.

Magistrate Court Judge Buddy Hall from Fort Sumner heard the case after Quay County Magistrate Court Judge Joel Garnett recused himself.

Gutierrez pleaded not guilty and will be assigned a court appointed attorney.

Dominguez pleaded guilty and waived her right to an attorney and a trial by jury.

“I am sorry. I’m not a thief and have never been in trouble before,” Dominguez told Hall.

Hall suspended the jail sentence of Dominguez and said that she would serve a supervised probationary period of almost a year,