Missouri Woman Gets Probation in Infant's Death

Posted: May 12, 2013 1:49 PM by Associated Press

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IRONTON, Mo. - A southeast Missouri woman has been sentenced to five years of probation in an infant's 2009 death at her home babysitting business.

A judge suspended a seven-year prison sentence for Martha Farris, meaning the Pilot Knob woman will not have to spend time behind bars or have a record in the case if she completes the probation.

Farris entered an Alford plea in February to first-degree involuntary manslaughter in 3-month-old Sam Pratt's death. The plea is not an admission of guilt, but acknowledges prosecutors have sufficient evidence for a conviction.

Attorney General Chris Koster says Farris told investigators she swung the baby, "plunked" him down hard on a couch and elbowed him in the head.

The case prompted legislation limiting Missouri child care centers from operating while charges are pending.

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