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Woman charged with broom beating

GRAND FORKS -- When Tamara Voll hit her stepson with a broomstick about the Red River High School student's head and shoulders last spring for not cleaning the house, she committed felony abuse of a child, prosecutors say.

After rejecting a plea offer from prosecutors, Voll, 47, was slated Thursday by a judge to go to trial Jan. 14.

If convicted, she would face up to five years in prison.

After the May 19 incident at their Grand Forks home, Voll was arrested and ordered to have no contact with her stepson.

Out on bond and living now in East Grand Forks, she appeared Thursday in court with her attorney, Clint Morgenstern.

According to the police affidavit, the stepson called police May 20 to report that his stepmother had "hit him several times with a broom handle," over his upper back and shoulder area and the top of his head during an argument the previous evening. It was because he hadn't cleaned the house like she had told him, he said.

The stepson said "he did not threaten or cause harm to Voll at any time during their argument," according to Officer Justin Holweger's affidavit.

Holweger said he saw bruises and red marks on the stepson's back and head, including a "golf-ball sized bruise on the right side of his head that he claimed was painful to the touch."

Holweger said during an interview in her home, Voll "stated she did strike (her stepson) on the back and head during their argument with a broom handle."

He arrested her at her home May 20.

Citing state law on child abuse or neglect, Grand Forks prosecutors charged her with a Class C felony, alleging Voll "willfully inflicted bodily injury" on her stepson with the broomstick. She remains free on a $3,000 cash or surety bond, still ordered to have no contact with her stepso