New Mexico woman sentenced for locking children in dog cages and other horrific child abuse

A New Mexico woman, Jamie Kay Sena, has been sentenced to over five years in state jail after pleading no contest to four counts of child abuse. Sena, along with her ex-girlfriend and another woman, was initially facing a combined 51 child abuse charges. The case involved a series of horrifying incidents that took place over several years, with allegations of physical and emotional abuse towards six children. Sena’s sentencing comes after she entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors, resulting in the dismissal of 12 additional charges.

On July 7th, Jamie Kay Sena, 29, pleaded no contest to four counts of child abuse that did not result in death or great bodily harm. The 9th Judicial District Court Judge Drew Douglas Tatum found her guilty on each count. Sena was sentenced to three years in state jail for each count, along with two years of probation. However, two of the sentences will be served concurrently. With credit for 317 days already spent in pre-trial detention, Sena’s total time behind bars will be just over five years and two months. Her parole will be capped at two years.

The four counts that Sena pleaded no contest to involve child abuse incidents that occurred on separate days in July 2022. In exchange for her plea deal, prosecutors dropped 12 additional charges, including 10 counts of child abuse, conspiracy to commit child abuse, and obstructing a child abuse or child neglect investigation. Sena was initially detained on 23 separate child-abuse related charges.

The case involved allegations of physical and emotional abuse towards six children, including Sena’s own children, younger relatives of her ex-girlfriend, a neighboring child, and a foster child. New Mexico State Police discovered a litany of horrors at the residence where the abuse took place. The children were found locked in dog cages, enduring freezing temperatures, and forced to stand in the corner for days. The investigation also uncovered videos of the abuse, including the children’s screams and a boy being smothered in his own vomit.

Sena’s ex-girlfriend, Jayme Kushman, described as the “ringleader” of the child abuse, is scheduled to be sentenced on July 13th. Lora Melancon, another individual involved in the case, will have her plea hearing on July 17th.