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Two women charged with alleged child abuse at MCAS plead not guilty


YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - After a 10-month preliminary investigation, 27-year old Valerie McKinstry and 27-year-old Katherine McCombs appeared in court on Friday afternoon, pleading not guilty to alleged child abuse.

McKinstry is charged with 13 counts of intentional child abuse, while McCombs is charged with the same crime on seven counts.

Both defendants, who were supervisors at the Child Development Center (CDC) at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma (MCAS), have been accused of imposing known physical harm and intentional danger to multiple children.

All counts of these charges from the state are Class 4 felonies.

MCAS learned of the alleged abuse back in March 2021 after reviewing surveillance camera footage inside the Child Development Center. MCAS then notified the Yuma Police Department, which then led to an investigation before a long form complaint was filed in December 2021.

Both defendants are not in custody, but have been issued a no-contact order with any of the victims involved. Several victim representatives were at the hearing, or over the phone, and also asked the court for a no-contact order to be placed.

No specific details of the accusations have yet been offered by MCAS or YPD, but News 11 and CBS 13 will continue to follow any developments.

McKinstry and McCombs will be back in court on February 10th.

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Cole Johnson

Cole grew up in a small town of just over 3,000 people called Moravia, NY—home of President Millard Fillmore and Fillmore Glen State Park.

He is eager to wake up every morning with the Desert Southwest and give viewers the greatest coverage to start their day.

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