Miller County Woman Charged With Murder and Child Abuse
MILLER COUNTY - Miller County officials charged Cheryl A. Patrick Friday with the murder and child abuse of her boyfriend's daughter, 28 month old Alexis Ward.
Patrick was the regular caretaker of Ward and the child's 4 year old sibling in February, 2008, when the child died. She was 18 years old at the time.
The investigation continued nearly four months, until Patrick was arrested in May of 2008. She was charged with second degree murder and abuse of a child by Miller County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Howard. Howard noted that the law enforcement investigation involved hundreds of hours of manual work and analysis to make sure police were focused on the correct suspect.
The trial started on Monday in Laclede County due to a change of venue ordered at the request of Patrick's attorney.
A second sentencing stage of the trial was then held and within an hour the jury returned a recommendation punishment of 20 years in prison for murder and also 20 years in prison on the charge of abuse of a child.
Final sentencing in the case is scheduled for December 3, 2012, at the Lebanon courthouse.