The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

February 10, 2014

Roommate draws prison term in starved girl case

The roommate of a Joplin woman convicted of starving her preschool-age daughter was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison for her role in the abuse of the child.

Circuit Judge David Dally assessed Christina M. Haidle the prison term at a hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court. Haidle, 28, pleaded guilty Dec. 9 to a reduced count of child abuse in a plea deal that dismissed two related counts of felony child endangerment.

Haidle was the roommate of Beth A. Williams, 28, who took 3-year-old Cameron Williams to the emergency room of Freeman Hospital West in Joplin on July 1, 2012, in an unconscious state, barely breathing and weighing just 12 pounds. The emaciated child was tested and found to have a blood sugar level of zero.

Haidle told investigators at the time that she stayed home and provided care to her son and Williams’ daughter while Williams held down a job as a manager at a local pizzeria.

Both women were charged initially with first-degree assault and felony child endangerment. A second count of child endangerment was brought against each of them three months after the arrests, based on the medical history of the child.

The initial count of endangerment pertained to their failure to seek medical help for the girl in the month before she was taken to the hospital. The medical history indicated that they also had failed to keep regular doctor appointments for her after her first birthday, when concerns regarding her development first arose.

A first-degree assault conviction carries from 10 to 30 years, or up to life, in prison. A Class B felony offense of child abuse carries from five to 15 years.

Williams took a similar plea offer in November, pleading guilty to child abuse rather than assault and getting the endangerment charges dropped. She is scheduled to be sentenced March 3 by Circuit Judge Gayle Crane.

The doctor who provided care to the girl the first year of her life testified at a preliminary hearing in 2012 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 record of what she fed the girl, but she stopped keeping regular appointments, the doctor told the court. The pediatrician had not seen the girl for more than a year when she was taken to the hospital weighing 12 pounds.

Her mother told a judge at her preliminary hearing that her daughter had always been small, even though she “eats like a horse.” She said the suspicion of child abuse and the charges against her and Haidle were “just blown way overboard.”

In the first two months after the girl’s removal from the two women’s care, she grew 2 inches and put on 13 pounds, according to her doctor’s testimony.



Previous conviction

CHRISTINA HAIDLE was convicted of misdemeanor child endangerment in 2004 in Newton County and was granted a suspended sentence requiring that she attend parenting classes. In that case, she had struck her son with the metal part of a fly swatter, leaving a mark on his back.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose tours downtown Diamond

    A lost llama on the lam hoofed it down Main Street here today before it took refuge in a fenced yard that had only one way in and out.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Neosho school board hires company to manage substitutes

    Citing its hopes of shifting health care costs and utilizing more time from retired teachers, the Neosho Board of Education granted a contract Monday to a temporary employee company to manage its substitute teacher program.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cherokee County Commission accepts general counsel's resignation

    Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the Cherokee County Commission since 2005, submitted a handwritten resignation to the board on Monday in the aftermath of a landfill controversy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Thunderstorms possible overnight in Joplin area

    Thunderstorms are expected to develop across northern Missouri late today and could move south into the area this evening and overnight, according to a hazardous weather outlook issued this afternoon by the National Weather Service.

    July 22, 2014

  • 071514 KC Atkins 3.jpg SLIDESHOW: Treasures of Tut Through Sept. 7, “The Discovery of King Tut” will draw tens of thousands of visitors to Kansas City’s Union Station to discover the history and mystery of the most famous Pharaoh who ever reigned over the Nile Valley.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Iraq_Cast(4).jpg Iraq Christians flee with little more than clothes

    Iraqi Christians who fled the northern city of Mosul rather than convert to Islam by a deadline imposed by extremist militants said they had to leave most of their belongings behind and gunmen stole much of what they did manage to take along.

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos

  • Kevin Cure resigns as counsel for county commission in wake of Galena landfill debate

    In the wake of a Cherokee County landfill controversy, Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the county’s Board of Commissioners since 2005, submitted a hand-written resignation to the board on Monday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Area residents pessimistic about state of the economy

    Joplin’s employment rate is better than the statewide average, but many area residents “still feel like they’re in a recession,” an economist told a group of public officials and business leaders today.

    July 22, 2014