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Columbia mother accused in daughter’s death pleads guilty to child neglect

A Columbia woman accused with having a role in her daughter’s death pleaded guilty to 2 counts of child abuse and neglect in Boone County Court Monday.

Anna Steele was originally charged with second degree murder for the February 2014 death of 8-month-old Finley Steele, but that charge was dropped and amended earlier this year.

Steele was not scheduled to appear in court until her December trial for the child abuse charges.

Boone Co. Prosecutor Dan Knight recommended Steele be sentenced to 5 years in prison for each count to be served consecutively.

Steele’s boyfriend, Cody Baker, was convicted of second degree murder and is set to be sentenced on November 30.

Court documents said the child suffered head trauma, likely caused by a blunt object.

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