Judge rejects plea deal in case of handcuffed child


MINOT, N.D. (AP) — A judge has refused to accept a proposed plea deal for a Minot man accused of handcuffing a 9-year-old boy as punishment.

24-year-old Christian Ratliff is now scheduled to stand trial beginning Monday on a felony child abuse charge that carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison.

The state and the defence had recommended Ratliff be allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of child neglect in the 2016 case and be given no jail time.

Judge Gary Lee said he couldn't sign off on the deal "in the interest of justice."