From staff reports
JOPLIN, Mo. —
After a two-day trial, a Jasper County Circuit Court jury took less than two hours Tuesday to find Dustin Snow guilty of felony child abuse and recommend that he serve a two-year sentence.
A sentencing assessment report has been ordered, and formal sentencing is set for Aug. 30.
Snow, 27, for whom court records gave a Springfield address, was living on South Pennsylvania Avenue on Aug. 10, 2010, with his girlfriend, her 15-month-old child and an older sibling. The children were in the care of Snow at the time.
According to a probable-cause affidavit, while in Snow’s care “the baby received cruel and inhumane punishment.”
The child suffered bruises to his left eye, extreme swelling to the left side and the back of the head, and bruises to the exterior and interior of both ears. Local doctors feared that the child would suffer brain damage, and the victim was flown to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.
Dr. Terra Frazier of Children’s Mercy stated in the affidavit that the victim’s injuries were consistent with child abuse.
Snow denied any role in the child’s injuries.
According to the affidavit, Snow told investigators that he had gone outside to smoke and that when he returned, the 15-month-old was lying in bed. He said he suspected that the victim’s 3-year-old sister had pushed the boy off the couch.