White Sentenced to 25 Years in Infant Death Case
MILLER COUNTY - Circuit Judge Michael J. Cordonnier sentenced 29-year-old Christina Louise White to 25 years in prison Thursday afternoon at the Laclede County Courthouse.
White entered an Alford plea of no contest to charges of second degree murder, first degree arson and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with setting a fire at her residence in Iberia on July 11, 2007.
White's infant son, 7-month-old Wayne Anderson, was severely burned and died three weeks later. The Alford plea represented to the court that White did not have a recollection of the events and therefore could not affirmatively admit guilt. However, she did agree that the evidence in the case was sufficient to believe that she would be convicted.
Judge Cordonnier reviewed a presentence investigation and sentencing assessment report prepared by the Missouri Division of Probation and Parole. The judge also reviewed evidence and listened to a statement from White's pastor and heard arguments by the lawyers before setting the sentence.
Miller County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Howard recommended that the maximum sentences of life in prison on murder and arson, along with 7 years on child endangerment be imposed on White. Defense counsel noted that White's poor family history and documented mental limitations were extenuating factors for consideration by the Court.
After hearing from the parties, the court announced sentences of 25 years on both charges of murder and arson, concurrent with a sentence of 7 years on the charge of child endangerment. The available range of punishment was from 10 to 30 years or life in prison upon the charges of murder and arson, and up to 7 years in prison in addition for the child endangerment charge.
Howard noted that the plea agreement entered in the case set no limit on the sentences, but required whatever sentences were entered for murder and arson to be concurrent.