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Woman Guilty of Killing Infant

A Miller County woman was found guilty Friday of murdering her boyfriend’s two-year-old daughter. Cheryl Patrick of Tuscumbia was convicted on both counts of child abuse and murder of 28-month old Alexis Ward. Alexis was found unresponsive and died several days from severe head and brain trauma in 2008. Medical examiners believed the injuries were of suspicious nature and an investigation ensued. In closing arguments, Miller Co. Asst. Prosecutor Roger Gibbons said “Make no mistake, the defendant literally beat the life out of this little girl.” According to court documents, Patrick caused the fatal injuries by shoving the two-year-old down several times. Initially, Patrick had tried to blame the father, James Ward, for physicallly hurting the child. Miller Co. Sheriff’s Deputies obtained a confession from Patrick months into the investigation, after they found inconsistencies in her reports, according to a press release from the Miller Co. Prosecutor’s office. A jury in Laclede County recommended 20 years in prison for the murder of little Alexis and another 20 years for child abuse. Sentencing is scheduled December 3, 2012 at the Lebanon courthouse.

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