The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

December 9, 2013

Second plea deal reached in starved child case

JOPLIN, Mo. — A woman who lived with a Joplin woman convicted of starving her 3-year-old daughter pleaded guilty Monday to her role in the abuse of the girl.

Christina M. Haidle, 28, pleaded guilty in Jasper County Circuit court to a Class B felony offense of child abuse in a plea deal that would dismiss two other counts of child endangerment she was facing in the case involving Cameron Williams, daughter of co-defendant Beth A. Williams, 28.

The conviction carries five to 15 years in prison, and Haidle’s plea agreement with the Jasper County prosecutor would require that she serve a minimum of five years before becoming eligible for parole.

Circuit Judge David Dally delayed formal action on the plea deal and ordered a sentencing-assessment report on the defendant. Haidle will be sentenced Feb. 10. The mother of the girl pleaded guilty to the same offense Nov. 18 in a similar plea offer and will be sentenced by Circuit Judge Gayle Crane on Feb. 17.

Like Williams, Haidle had been facing a Class A felony count of first-degree assault that carried 10 to 30 years, or up to life, in prison.

Both women have remained in custody since their arrests in July 2012. At the time, the women were living at 1407 S. Pennsylvania Ave. Williams worked as a manager at a local pizzeria, while Haidle stayed home and took care of her son and Williams’ daughter.

The 3-year-old girl weighed just 12 pounds when her mother took her to a Joplin hospital July 1, 2012, in an unconscious state, with a blood sugar level of zero and a pulse so faint that cardiopulmonary resuscitation had to be administered.

A doctor who provided care to the girl throughout the first year of her life testified at a preliminary hearing a year ago that she first became concerned with the child’s development at her one-year checkup, when she weighed in at 17.6 pounds. The mother was asked to keep a journal of what she fed the girl, but she stopped keeping regular appointments, the doctor told the court.

The doctor had not seen the girl for more than a year when she was finally taken to the hospital weighing just 12 pounds.

In the first two months after removal from the home, the girl was said to have grown 2 inches and put on 13 pounds.

Previous conviction

CHRISTINA HAIDLE was convicted of misdemeanor child endangerment in 2004 in Newton County and was assessed a suspended sentence and the requirement that she complete parenting classes. In that case, she struck her 1-year-old son with the metal part of a fly swatter, leaving a mark on his back.

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