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Child assault case headed to trial

MOORHEAD - A 25-year-old mother charged with assaulting her 2-year-old daughter has passed on a plea deal and is heading instead for trial.

Nicole Amber Rheault appeared Wednesday in Clay County District Court with her attorney, Mara Rausch, who told Judge Lisa Borgen the case was going to trial.

The appearance had been scheduled as a plea hearing. A prosecutor said earlier that Rheault was looking to plead guilty to one of three charges pending against her.

No explanation was offered Wednesday as to why the plea agreement did not move forward.

Rheault is charged with felony third-degree assault, felony malicious punishment of a child and child neglect, a gross misdemeanor.

According to court documents, Rheault is accused of assaulting her daughter for up to 10 minutes after the girl broke her mother's cigarettes and lost her car keys.

Rheault told investigators she was a methamphetamine user and was sleep deprived at the time of the alleged assault, court documents said.