By Roger McKinney
JOPLIN, Mo. —
A Sarcoxie woman on Friday was placed on probation for five years after pleading guilty in April to endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree, a felony.
Jasper County Circuit Judge David Mouton handed down the sentence against Benita Devido in accordance with a plea agreement in the case.
The charge against Devido was filed in August 2012. It was prompted by a call to the state’s child abuse hot line. An investigator with the Children’s Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services found numerous injuries on Devido’s 3-month-old son, including cuts on his head, circular burns to his face and forearm, bite marks on an elbow and a knee, and bruises on an ear.
Medical staff at Freeman Hospital West determined that the injuries were caused by abuse. The child was removed from the home and placed in protective custody.
After being bound over for trial, Devido on April 26 entered what is known as an Alford plea, which concedes no guilt but acknowledges that the evidence in the case is strong and that a jury would likely convict.