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      Sheriff's Deputy and girlfriend in court for alleged child abuse

      A Dickinson County Sheriff's deputy and his girlfriend were in court Tuesday in a case of alleged child abuse.

      The defendants, Matthew Linsenbigler and Kristen Punzel, asked to allow their other child to come home, but Judge Schuppe denied the family's request. The Department of Human Services alleges Linsenbigler and Punzel neglected or abused a four-month-old child by failing to provide medical attention. DHS officials say the four month old sustained head injuries caused by shaking.

      Defense attorneys argue the brain bleeding was the result of rapid brain growth. The prosecutor's office says there's not enough evidence to bring criminal charges. The case is being handled in probate court. A trial is scheduled for October. If found guilty, the defendants could lose their parental rights. Linsenbigler will remain on leave from the Dickinson County Sheriff's office until the case is settled.