LACLEDE COUNTY, Mo. – A Miller County woman has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for the death of 28-month-old Alexis Ward. The child died of severe brain trauma believed to be caused by shaking and blunt trauma.
Cheryl A. Patrick, 23, was condemned Friday, almost four months after a jury found her guilty on a charge of second-degree murder and a felony charge of child abuse. The case was heard in front a jury in September of 2012, although Patrick remained free on bond until today’s sentencing hearing.
Judge Stan Moore did not comment on the jury’s recommendation of 20 years on each count when he ordered the maximum sentence on each charge to run consecutively.
Prior to sentencing, Judge Moore denied a motion by Patrick’s defense attorney for a new trial.
Patrick was charged and taken into custody on May 28, 2008, nearly five months after Ward’s death on Feb. 8, 2008. Patrick had been a regular caregiver for Ward and her four-year-old sibling, both children of Patrick’s boyfriend.
After hundreds of hours of investigation, Miller County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Howard charged Patrick with second-degree murder and abuse of a child.
“In this particular case, the defendant didn’t show any remorse or willingness to accept responsibility for this little child’s death, and with that in mind, I recommended and argued without any reservation that these sentences needed to be consecutive so that prison and parole authorities would have the necessary tools to work with in this case,” Howard said.
“We are pleased that Judge Moore’s decision today sends a powerful message to the community that the protection of children is paramount, and that these types of crimes will not be tolerated,” the prosecutor said.
Due to present laws, Howard said that Patrick will be required to complete a minimum of 85 percent of the sentence before parole can be granted. Patrick will serve more than 34 years and will be approximately 57 years of age before she comes up for parole.
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