Mexico man sentenced to life in prison for child sex crimes
AUDRAIN COUNTY - An Audrain County court sentenced a Mexico man to life in prison plus seven years for a child sex crime, the county's prosecuting attorney said Friday.
Jimmy Dale Burns, 44, was arrested for attempted statutory sodomy with sexual contact in the summer of 2017 with a then 8-year-old girl. Burns was also booked for resisting arrest at the time because he threatened and fought with officers who came to question him.
During a January trial, a jury convicted Burns of both crimes after an hour's deliberation.
“This abuser was held accountable because as a community, parents are listening and supporting their children,” prosecuting attorney Jacob Shellabarger said in a statement. “When a girl felt uncomfortable with something an adult did to her, she told her parents, who did the right thing – they listened, believed her, trusted their gut, and took serious actions to support and protect her. These parents are heroes for their children, and our community stood with them against this abuser.”
Shellabarger also praised the jury for its focus and decision making.
“This jury delivered a firm, powerful message that when children are hurt in our community that our community will hold the guilty accountable, protect the innocent & ensure a fair trial. This case was difficult for jurors to listen to in that it was evidence of sexual abuse to a young child, but I commend them for the focus, attention and resolve in seeing the case through to a just guilty verdict. Justice has come for that little girl."