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Saunders child abuse case to go to trial

A jury trial is on the horizon for parents charged with child abuse after their baby was found dead with drugs in his body.

At a pre-trial hearing before Southwest District Judge Zane Anderson on Tuesday, lawyers for Theresa and Andrue Rien Saunders announced neither defendant had accepted the state's plea offer. So after one more pre-trial hearing, the couple will face a trial expected to last at least five days due to the amount of evidence in the case.

According to the criminal complaint, the Saunders had illegal drugs in their Dickinson home with the child, and upon the baby's death, he was found to have traces of cocaine and methamphetamine in his body.

The baby was less than a year old when he died in October 2011.

The now-divorced parents, both in their early 20s, pled not guilty in May. Theresa Saunders is now living in Las Vegas, and appeared at the hearing Tuesday by phone.

Andrue Saunders also faces related charges of possession of a controlled substance.