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Deborah Gomez, Ill. mom who tied kids up in Wal-Mart parking lot, gets probation

A suburban Chicago couple was arrested after children were found blindfolded in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Kansas
CBS Chicago
A suburban Chicago couple was arrested after two of their children were found bound and blindfolded in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Lawrence, Kan., June 13, 2012.
CBS Chicago

(CBS/AP) LAWRENCE, Kan. - A suburban Chicago mother was sentenced Wednesday to one year of probation after two of her children were found bound and blindfolded in a Walmart parking lot in Kansas.

Deborah Gomez, 43, and her husband, Adolfo Gomez, 52, of Northlake, Ill., have been in custody since they were arrested June 13, 2012, when police found two of their children, ages 5 and 7, bound by their hands and feet in a Walmart parking lot in Lawrence.

Three other children, ages 12, 13 and 15, were inside the family's vehicle, unrestrained.

Deborah Gomez pleaded no contest last month to three counts of child endangerment.

Adolfo Gomez, who also pleaded no contest to two counts of felony child abuse and three misdemeanor counts of child endangerment, is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 8.

Angela Keck, Deborah Gomez's court-appointed attorney, said her client was an unwilling participant in binding and blindfolding the children, which Adolfo Gomez did to ward off demons. Keck said Deborah Gomez has since been freed from her husband's influence.

Deborah Gomez said at her sentencing Wednesday that she hopes to work toward regaining custody of her five children, who have been placed in protective custody, The Lawrence Journal-World reported.

"I love my children very much," Deborah Gomez said.

She also said that if she gets permission from probation officials she plans to move to Arizona, which is where the family was headed to visit relatives when the parents were arrested in Lawrence.

More on CrimesiderAugust 16, 2012 - Couple who allegedly tied kids up outside Walmart wanted to keep demons away, says lawyerJune 14, 2012 - Children found blindfolded, bound in SUV at Kansas Walmart, police say