Woman Burns Baby and Escapes Trial with an Alford Plea

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COLUMBIA - A Central Missouri mother charged for burning her seven month old entered an Alford Plea last week.

Christina L. White entered the plea last Thursday to second-degree murder, first-degree arson and endangering the welfare of a child. An Alford plea means the defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges prosecutors have enough evidence to win a conviction.

White entered the plea saying, "I know there's enough evidence to convict me... but I won't admit any guilt."

Her statement outraged and confused people on the KOMU webpage.  

"Just put her in general population in prison and let the word get out what she has done. the inmates will take care of it. problem is she will be segregated most likely because officials know the gp will most likely result in death." Raymond Crow said.

Another viewer, Angela Snapp asked, "So, is she going to prison or being released?"

White is still in custody. Art Allen of the Missouri State Public Defenders said the plea is more of a psychological move than anything else.

Allen said the plea is used when a defendant simply can't bring themselves to confess publicily and also said he see the plea used most in sex crimes.

"They just don't want to admit it in front of a judge, court, or a spouse that I was out there raping somebody. (The plea) is pretty commonly used.. it is our version of a no contest."

Another attorney disagrees on how commonly the pleas are used.

"Within my own practice, it a very uncommon occurence. It's happened, I've probably employed it for five or six times in the last twenty five years."

The court has a final say on whether or not to accept an Alford plea.